OKLAHOMA CITY (Sept. 16, 2016) — Oklahoma Christian University Director of Golf David Lynn long had had a dream of building an on-campus golf facility, but finding a suitable location proved challenging. Then his father, OC women’s golf coach Greg Lynn, suggested he consider Enterprise Square USA.
The idea seemed just crazy enough to work, and a key section of the building that once housed a museum now is home to a first-of-its-kind indoor collegiate golf facility in Oklahoma, known as the Junior Lorentz Golf Center.
The university held a formal dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday to honor Lorentz, an Ardmore man who gave $250,000 to fund the project, and his wife Cynthia.
“It’s a special opportunity when you meet somebody that shares your vision of what you want,” David Lynn said. “Our vision was that we wanted a place for our student-athletes to call ‘home’ on campus, a place for our student-athletes to practice and get better and a place for them to form and become a team. That is what this facility has been.
“Every step of the way, Cynthia and Junior supported us and saw that vision. I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of their support of our vision for this center and what it means to us on a daily basis.”
The facility — located in the area of the building that once housed Enterprise Square’s Hall of Giants — has a 3,000-square-foot putting and chipping green with another 1,000 square feet of rough and fringe surrounding the green.
It also includes four golf simulator bays (which feature TrackMan and Foresight technology) with launch monitors, screens and computers and projectors. The simulator bays allow OC’s teams to play full rounds of golf on many different courses and practice on the range. Also included are offices for OC’s golf coaches and a storage area.
Enterprise Square USA opened in 1982 as the only major museum in the U.S. devoted entirely to the interpretation of the American economic system. After the museum closed in 1999, the university has used the space in many ways, including as the site of the American Citizenship Center, as an art gallery and for classroom space and storage.
“The Lord has blessed our lives so we have been prosperous,” Lorentz said. “We’ve been able to raise a family and afford to send them to a Christian college and have the ability to do this for the college and the kids. We couldn’t do that without God’s help. He has blessed us immensely. I hope this fulfills everybody’s dream for it.”
David Lynn thanked OC President John deSteiguer and Executive Vice President Bill Goad for allowing him to pursue placing the golf facility at Enterprise Square.
“We had kind of exhausted all of our options on campus, trying to build different places,” David Lynn said. “When we approached Dr. Goad, he kind of looked at me and rolled his eyes and said, ‘Don’t you understand it’s full of windows?’ We said, yes, we understand that, and that hasn’t been a problem. Their wisdom and vision, in that sense, I’m very much appreciative for.”
Upon entering the unused space for the first time, “it floored us what the vision could be in this room — a putting green in an octagon, spaces already cut out that looked like they were for simulators. … Having the opportunity to pursue a dream like that was unbelievable.”
OC long has had one of the nation’s best small-college men’s golf programs, having posted a top-four finish in either the NAIA or National Christian College Athletic Association during 16 consecutive academic years, ending with the 2014-15 campaign. The Eagles won NAIA titles in 2009 and 2011 and the NCCAA crown in 2012. The program has produced a handful of professional golfers, including Rhein Gibson, who currently plays on the PGA Tour.
Last May, in their first season of eligibility to do so, the Eagles qualified for the NCAA Division II Championship, making them the first OC team in any sport to accomplish that feat.
OC began a women’s golf program with the 2011-12 academic year and the program already has enjoyed much success, capturing an unofficial Heartland Conference title in 2015 at the Division II level and finishing in the top three in the NCCAA in each year from fall 2012 to fall 2014. Last May, then-senior Audrey Meisch qualified as an individual for the NCAA Division II Championship.