Boiler Bytes: Ackerman Hills Golf Course Renovation
Boiler Bytes: Ackerman Hills Golf Course Renovation

Hi I’m Josefina Estrada from Purdue
University bringing you a Boiler Bytes story about
the ongoing renovation of Purdue’s 80-year-old Ackerman Hills golf course. In addition to upgrading the
course for collegiate level play, the refurbishment also offers a unique
opportunity for students in Purdue’s Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
program to gain valuable hands-on experience. Well I think Purdue golf already has a
reputation of having great facilities… certainly with our Spurgeon Building
here indoor Center, our Kampen Golf Course and the Ackerman Hills golf course…but to be able
to modernize that and renovate it and to invest the kind of investment that we are in that golf course is going to be great. The main thing we’re doing with the new Ackerman-Allen course is getting the length for the collegiate
golfer. This golf course was built in the 1930s, the original south golf course. A nd at that time it
was very very challenging for the golfer. We hosted the 1961 collegiate NCAA tournament and actually
Purdue University won it. And as the years have gone on, technology the ball is changed. The Collegiate golfer is now hitting the ball 300 to 310 off the tee. Pete Dye is a world-renowned golf course
architect – knows how to make a golf course playable for the average player, the weekend
player. But yet have it plenty challenging enough for the tournament player, the professional if you will. I maintain golf courses but to actually
think as a golfer… Pete, he has a vision that is second
to none. I’ve never seen a man they can see something out of basic flat ground and can picture that in his
mind of what it is gonna look like seven to ten
years down the road. The Ackerman course, there was some extra land… available that the school had and they can put two or three holes in there and that opens
up the Ackerman Course to make it a lot easier to
walk. And right now there’s several ravines and what you can do… is close them up and make a water
retention that will help the school And so what Pete has done is he’s come in there and he’s actually using the same plot of land, but
he’s crossing over some, using some of the ravines, using some the topography that is there and created…it is just a magnificent golf course. It is still playable. We’re gonna keep the members’ tees, if
you will, up front. The ladies tees are upfront where they’re at now, but then we’ve gotten the length for the Collegiate player – to challenge
the collegiate player. I was brought in to help build the Kampen
golf course and we built that with 32 students. Ackerman-Allen we’re going to do a little
different. We’ve brought in expert Earth-movers and they’ve got the
expertise to do this stuff. And so the students were gonna hire
them to come in and help do the final grades, the seeding, the grassing… that is a huge part for their resume. To be able to have that… as
being part of building a Pete Dye golf course. They’re working with the soil, they’re putting in drainage, putting in irrigation, they’re planting… the new improved grasses that we’re going to use on the golf course. They get to learn things that we don’t
necessarily get cover in the classroom. Or they get to reinforce the concepts
that we learn in the classroom. To have the opportunity to add a couple
new holes out at the Ackerman Hills is an exciting project if we
can ever get the rain to slow down for us. Our target is to open this back up in in May 2016…now that’s weather being just perfect. One of the other obstacles is that we still are going to maintain this for parking for
football. That is one thing that we will do for
the John Purdue members with the existing Media, D, and T lots – is
we’re still gonna park cars. I mean we’re excited for the students that they get this opportunity. We’re excited to have another Pete Dye golf course and just excited to have this renovation project going on here on campus. To have 2 championship caliber
golf courses… right next to campus…no other
University in America can boast of that. This puts us at the top of all collegiate – and I’m even gonna go a little
bit further and say all 36-hole complexes. The location of Lafayette being 2 hours or less from Chicago on the
Interstate…there’s a tremendous population in this area that would use a golf course if they had it set up for 2 golf courses and a clubhouse that could be catered.
Here is a great potential. A real potential. A real real potential. That wraps up another Boiler Bytes. Be
sure to check us out online at We’ll see you next

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