CANTON  The Malone women’s golf team recently opened the doors to a new chapter in the program’s history, unveiling a new, state-of-the-art indoor practice facility.

The space, which the school has dubbed “the hitting room,” is located on the northwest side of Osborne Hall and  features an indoor putting green, a SkyTrak Platinum Golf simulator, a chipping area and a second hitting bay.

The facility was completed through funds raised by the women’s golf team at its Benefit Auction that was held this past January at the Canton Police Patrolmen’s Association Hall.

The team, which includes Suburbanite-area products Madison Justice (Lake Center Christian), Lauren Griggy (Green) and Michelle Lori (Green), held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new indoor home and head coach Bill Eddins is excited about its potential.

“This is a huge addition for our women’s golf program and is going to enable us to work year round, but most importantly through the winter,” Eddins said.  “The simulator will allow us to see where we are hitting and help us with our club selection and accuracy. It will give us instant feedback with a lot of different data that will help everyone improve their game.”

At the fundraiser, companies and organizations such as Spectrum Orthopedics and Compassion Delivered helped stage an event that included an auction with gift baskets, golf packages and other items.

The team had a goal to raise $15,000 for the project, but surpassed that total with a profit of more than $23,000, all of which went toward the completion of the indoor facility.

“This is the result of a lot of people coming together to do something to benefit our program and players,” Eddins said.

The Pioneers wrapped up their season April 19 and 20 at the Great Midwest Athletic Conference championships, held at University Club of Kentucky. They placed sixth out of 11 teams as Griggy was the second-leading golfer with a total of 261 for three rounds, ranking her 26th out of 56 competitors.

Lori was 45th and tallied a three-day score of 291, while Justice competed as an individual - teams had five golfers in their lineup and counting toward their team score, but additional golfers could compete as individuals - and fired a 250 three-day score to rank 21st.

Sophomore Christina Williams (Highland) qualified as an individual for the NCAA Division II super regional tournament in Owensboro, Ky., making her the lone Pioneer still playing beyond the G-MAC championships.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new indoor facility included Malone president Dr. David King and his wife, Winnie, athletic director Charlie Grimes, representatives of companies involved in the project, the coaching staff and golfers and other friends of the program.

Reach Andy at 330-580-8936

or andy.harris@thesuburbanite.com

On Twitter: @aharrisBURB