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ville, where nine other teams also practice. It reduces the strain of travel and chaos of sharing a course so that the student athletes may grow and learn in the best possible environment.

Fundraising efforts for the project were led by two parents of students on the golf team: Daniel Ford and Andy Woodruff, who both spoke at the unveiling.

Ford began by calling the golf team to stand to illustrate the large number of student athletes positively affected by this development. “I talked a little bit with Barry, and as far as he can remember back, there has only been around five golfers on each team,” Ford explained. “But I guess as the saying goes, ‘if you build it, they will come,’ because 24 golfers are currently on our middle and high school golf teams.”

Woodruff added to Ford’s comments. “To our sponsors, thank you so much for what you have done for our kids – I think you will find it very well spent,” he stated. “Golf in this community has had 12 state boys championship teams and 7 girls state championship teams. We have had over 75 (that we know of) scholarships, partial or full, that have been given to this community.”

Attendees were invited not only to tour the facility, but to experience the technology, as they took turns hitting on the simulator.

Toombs County Golf Coach Matthew Helms commented on the new facility. “I believe this is creating a set-up that is a little bit more conducive to kids in our area,” he said. “It is taking a sport that can be sometimes very time consuming and stressful financially, and it is providing a set up and facility for a better future for golf in this community with the loss of our golf courses around here. It also does a very good job of taking golf from an art to a science.”

Helms also spoke on the growth which the golf team has experienced over the last few years. “It is definitely very exciting,” he remarked. “This is my sixth or seventh season coaching here, so just to see the growth at the middle school level has been really exciting. There is a lot of potential, and so, as a coach, the question I am always asking is how can the potential turn into something now. That’s the challenge I face, but if nothing else, I am very excited today.”

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