Teeing off at sunrise surrounded by the Santa Catalina Mountains welcomes golfers to a quiet respite in Tucson. Lizards rustle in the nearby desert and an occasional roadrunner will undoubtedly cross their path. They might even spot a coyote watching from a distance.
Now, golfers who come from around the world to the University of Arizona will have a new home at the William M. “Bill” Clements Golf Center at the Tucson Country Club. The center’s name — in honor of philanthropist and community icon Bill Clements, who passed away in 1995 — is thanks to philanthropist Ginny L. Clements. The naming recognizes Bill for his generosity to the UArizona golf programs and to the Southern Arizona community.
“Bill did so much for the community. He saw it as his privilege, and he was blessed to have the means to help,” Ginny Clements says. “This is a very special way to honor him and his generosity to the University of Arizona Golf programs. We are so pleased, as a family, to recognize his contributions with this naming gift.”
The center, a partnership between Arizona Athletics and Tucson Country Club, will cost nearly $14.86 million, of which approximately $11.9 million has been raised.
In addition to the Clements family’s naming gift, the Peter and Nancy Salter Family Foundation made another lead contribution. Peter Salter ’65 was a golf letterwiner, and the Peter and Nancy Salter Family Foundation Short Game Area will be located within the golf center. Other significant donations were made by former Wildcat golfer Jim Furyk and his wife, Tabitha; the Thunderbirds; Humberto and Czarina Lopez; Jim and Vicki Click; Tim and Jane Garigan; Brian and Kris Hogan; Thomas and Joanne Quebedeaux; and R. Ken Coit.
The Clements Golf Center will be a transformational home for the Wildcats and a premier, nationally competitive collegiate golf complex, says Dave Heeke, vice president and director of Arizona Athletics.
Facility highlights will include a laser-guided putting green, hitting bays, locker rooms, a student-athlete lounge and a medical services room, among other amenities. Construction began over the summer and is expected to conclude in spring 2023.
The unique design will flow seamlessly between indoor and outdoor settings, including a courtyard and a roof-top deck. The facility will add to the legacy of TCC, established in 1947, which has hosted 18 USGA Championship qualifiers.
“Our student-athlete and alumni golfers have built championship legacies, and this facility will be a tribute to that greatness,” Heeke says.
“The Clements Golf Center will have a generational impact on student-athletes, elevate recruiting and enhance our relationship with the golf community in Southern Arizona.”
The new partnership also will bring NCAA golf tournaments to TCC, welcoming top programs from across the country. Earlier this year, the Arizona Intercollegiate men’s golf tournament returned to TCC for the first time since 1992.
“Our new home facility is a game changer for both golf programs,” says Laura Ianello, head coach for women’s golf. “I am so thankful for the generosity of everyone who supported this important project.”
“The Golf Center will enhance every facet of the Arizona golf programs. The experience of golf student-athletes will be elevated with a world-class facility to practice, train, study and call home,” says Jim Anderson, head coach for men’s golf. “This facility will have an everlasting impact on recruiting and developing student-athletes into champions. “