Campus unveils practice putting green; gift from Honkus-Zollinger Foundation
ARTIFICIAL GREEN FOR PUTTING AND CHIPPING
Second phase: Outdoor Driving Cage
Penn State New Kensington recently unveiled the newest addition to its expanding athletics facilities—an outdoor artificial practice green.
Located on the small plateau behind the Athletic Center, the 45' x 20' rectangular green features two holes that provide a variety of short and long putts and an assortment of left and right breaks. An area of natural grass surrounds the green and allows for short-range chips.
“During down time between classes or before practice, the players can work on their short games,” said Bill Woodard, men’s and women’s golf coach and alumni and public relations specialist at the campus. “Great benefits are derived from just putting for fifteen minutes.”
The construction of the practice facility was funded by a $5,000 gift from the Honkus–Zollinger Charitable Foundation. Under the direction of co-trustees Debbie Honkus Turnberger and Jason Honkus, the foundation supports a variety of local and national organizations. The Pittsburgh-based organization was established in 2005 by Turnberger, chief executive officer of NEP Inc., and Honkus, her son, who works at NEP, to support a variety of local and national organizations. NEP is the leading international provider of outsourced broadcasting services that deliver live sports and entertainment events. The company was co-founded by Turnberger in 1987.
Honkus-Zollinger has a history of support for the campus. In 2009, its $5,000 grant, earmarked for uniforms and equipment, helped the wrestling program get off the ground last year. The foundation’s largesse continues to benefit the golf team. The private nonprofit firm recently donated $2,500 to build an outdoor driving cage adjacent to the new green. The addition will allow team members to hit full shots into a three-sided net.
The outdoor practice area augments the indoor net in the Athletics Center that can be used in the off-season by the golf team. The enclosed net also doubles as a batting cage for the softball team.
"Athletics at the campus is moving to the next level and the Honkus-Zollinger foundation is the catalyst for creating an infrastructure for sports and programs," said Kevin Snider, chancellor of the campus.
The golf team finished fourth this year at the Penn State University Athletic golf championships at the Penn State Blue Course. Sophomores Cody Dinger (West Shamokin High School) and Alex Baker (St. Joseph’s) finished second and third, respectively, were named to the PSUAC All Conference team. Dinger's second place finish was the second best PSUAC finish by a New Kensington player. John Hook won the conference individual title in 2007 and Adam Stawski was runner-up in 2009. Senior Matt Knapp was named to the Academic All-American team by the United States Collegiate Athletic Association.
For more on the golf team, visit http://www.nk.psu.edu/StudentLife/Athletics/28426.htm
New landscaping around the green will allow players to hone their chipping skills.
Next year, a driving cage will be installed adjacent to the green.