A new indoor practice facility for the WKU men’s and women’s golf programs opened at the beginning of October, and it will now be named the Phillip Hatchett Golf Facility following approval from the WKU Board of Regents at a special called meeting on Friday morning.

Regents voted to approve the philanthropic naming requests for the new golf facility, including naming the facility in honor of Hatchett, the former head coach of the WKU men’s golf team.

Hatchett was killed at the age of 55 after being struck by a car while riding his bike on June 17, 2018.

Hatchett was the head coach of the WKU men's golf program for eight years, a 1985 WKU graduate and four-year letterman on the golf team.

Conference USA renamed its top men’s golf coaching accolade to the Phillip Hatchett Coach of the Year award in January, and Rolling Hills Golf Course in Russellville unveiled a monument at its practice facility dedicated to Hatchett in May.

The new WKU golf facility will now bear his name in memory of his coaching career at WKU, but also in recognition of his fundraising efforts for an indoor practice facility’s eventual construction.

“WKU Athletics is thrilled to be able to honor the legacy of a tremendous Hilltopper with the naming of the Phillip Hatchett Golf Facility,” Zach Greenwell, WKU’s associate athletic director for communications and media relations, said on behalf of WKU Athletics. 

“Phillip poured his heart and soul into WKU as a standout player and a longtime head coach, and he was a well-respected and loved member of the WKU, southcentral Kentucky and golfing communities. This facility was a huge piece of his vision for the future of WKU Golf, and we are so pleased to honor him as part of a project that will positively affect so many Hilltoppers and Lady Toppers for years to come.”

Construction on the project began in October 2018, and while it is now functional, there are still elements being completed. WKU plans to host a formal dedication and unveiling at a later date once the project is fully complete, Greenwell said.

According to the online action item document for the naming requests, WKU Athletics will cover the costs of the sign for building and each designated room/area.

The total building cost is $456,000, while the additional signage is expected to cost about $8,000. Greenwell said the entire project is being privately funded through the donations of many program supporters and that no university or state budget dollars are being used.

An online listing dated Sept. 17, 2018, invited contractors to bid on a construction project, which consisted of a 4,168 square foot brick building. The building was set to be located at the WKU Intramural property just south of the existing tennis courts, the listing stated.

According to the online listing for the construction project, the building's interior was scheduled to include a conference room, putting area, two golf bays and two restrooms.

Greenwell confirmed the finished facility includes two hitting bays, a putting green, a club repair station, a conference room and bathrooms that are shared with the intramural complex.

The indoor golf practice facility doesn’t yet have an official address, but the facility has been using the address of WKU Parking and Transportation — 654 Campbell Lane.

Along with naming the overall facility, Regents also voted to approve the naming of The Kragh Family Putting Green in recognition of a gift from Matthew Kragh and family and The Shirley Family Club Repair Station in recognition of a gift from Kyle Shirley and family.

Kragh is a 1995 WKU graduate and President/CEO of MHK Architectural Planning LLC, while Shirley is the owner of Shirley Realty Group LLC.

There will be additional naming rights opportunities for the facility in the future. Those will be unveiled at a later date as they arise, Greenwell said.

Sports Editor Drake Kizer can be reached at clinton.kizer287@topper.wku.edu. Follow Drake on Twitter at @drakekizer_.

Drake Kizer is the sports editor of the College Heights Herald. He previously covered spring football, the women's basketball team and worked on the features staff.