Innovative Golf Training Complex Opens At Stanford University

Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course Architects (RTJ II) has teamed with Stanford University to create an innovative practice facility. Ready to debut this week, the Siebel Varsity Golf Training Complex occupies 30 acres next to Stanford Golf Course.

The distinctiveness of the facility lies in its six green complexes, each inspired by a different architectural style that Stanford plays most often, each complete with bunkers, native grasses and sand textures.

The concept was to provide practice conditions that emulate actual conditions the teams encounter during competitions; thus they've been dubbed "Road Game Greens." RTJ II and the Stanford golf coaching staff chose specific characteristics of six designers: Alister MacKenzie, Pete Dye, A.W. Tillinghast, Tom Fazio, Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Robert Trent Jones, Jr.

"We wanted to create a competitive advantage," said Jay Blasi, the project architect for RTJ II, which has its international headquarters virtually next door in Palo Alto. "The players can practice here what they see around the country, on a facility designed in the spirit of the architects whose courses they play regularly."

Hitting areas and putting greens vary not only in style, but in their surfaces. Players can get the feel of hitting and putting on bentgrass, Bermuda grass and fescue. Practice bunkers provide three completely different sand textures - coarse, desert waste-bunker sand; pure white, fluffy sand; and beige, medium-coarse sand.

Located adjacent to the second fairway at Stanford Golf Course, the Siebel Varsity Golf Training Complex is "L-shape," with two 400-yard sections - one 200 yards wide, the other 100 yards wide - that overlap at the turn. With the greens placed around the perimeter of the property, all six complexes can be used at the same time that other players are hitting into adjacent landing areas. Or, players can hit to greens from an enormous variety of approaches.

"You are limited only by your imagination," Blasi said.

For more information about RTJ II Golf Course Architects, call 650/326-3833 or visit