Indianapolis lacks on-campus facilities for tennis and golf

While most University of Indianapolis athletes have the convenience of using on-campus facilities to practice, men’s and women’s golf and men’s and women’s tennis currently have to travel to  off-campus facilities to practice.

According to Head Coach John Venter, the tennis teams spend six weeks in the spring practicing outside off-campus.

Venter explained that practicing outdoors for the six weeks leading up to the conference tournament in the spring is ideal, because the teams play outdoors. He prefers that his athletes train in game-like situations, especially because the weather adds an element that cannot be mimicked in indoor training.

Because the tennis teams do not have university-owned outdoor courts, they practice at a combination of different locations including Whiteland Community High School, Center Grove High School and Southport’s middle and high schools.

During the remaining six months of the season, the teams are able to practice at the UIndy Tennis Center, a university-owned facility located less than a mile from campus.

“I’d much rather have an indoor facility than an outdoor facility, but we are missing something,” Venter said. “I would like to see the university have outdoor courts.”

Venter said university-owned outdoor courts would be an improvement to the program but that he is extremely pleased with the indoor facility.

He said the UIndy Tennis Center is one of the best around, and he hasn’t seen a Division II facility that is better.

“I could focus on what we are missing, but I would hope not to miss the fact that what we have is tremendous,” Venter said. “What we do have is amazing.”

For golf, the situation is permanent, because the team uses off-site practice facilities year-round.

The men’s and women’s golf teams drive to off-campus facilities for every practice and match.

The teams use both Heartland Golf Course and Dyes Walk Country Club. According to junior William Whitlow, travel to these locations takes around 20-25 minutes.

Whitlow said he does not mind practicing off-campus, but the commute is longer than he would prefer, especially with traffic.

Still, Whitlow described the situation as the best option for the team.

“I think it is best the way it is because we can accomplish the most at the courses we are at now. [The courses] are supportive of us and allow us to practice whenever we need to,”  Whitlow said. “Whether it is a weekday or the weekend, they [the courses] always welcome us with open arms.”

Whitlow also said that practicing off campus helps focus training because university distractions can be an issue for other teams that practice on campus.

“We get to get away from campus and away from any possible distractions,” Whitlow said. “We are out there, just us and our coaches, working on whatever we need to work on that day.”

Whitlow said the team’s practice situation is ideal, because it permits them to train to their fullest potential.

“We still get a lot of practice time and still have time to play 18 holes of golf, if weather permits,” he said. “We have time to work on whatever we need to, and that is the most important thing, no matter where we practice.”