CLEMSON — Clemson University will name its new golf building for current Tiger golf coach Larry Penley. The surprise announcement was made Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Tiger Golf Gathering dinner and fundraising auction at the Thornblade Club in Greenville.
Through the annual Tiger Golf Gathering tournament and donations by former Clemson golfers, including Lucas Glover, Charles Warren and Jonathan Byrd, more than $750,000 has been raised so far to build the Larry J. Penley Jr. Golf Facility. It will be located behind the golf team’s driving range at the Bobby Robinson Golf Practice Facility.
The three-story, 6,600-square-foot building will provide much-needed space for Clemson’s golf team and will include meeting rooms, offices, a repair shop, a service kitchen and locker rooms.
"The Larry J. Penley Jr. Golf Facility will be a state-of-the-art venue that will accommodate our student-athlete practice needs as well as enhance our recruiting efforts,” said Bill D’Andrea, senior associate athletic director for external affairs. “Not only will this building be a great addition to our athletic facilities, but it also demonstrates the leadership, financial support and commitment our former golfers have made to the program.”
PGA golfer and Clemson Ring of Honor inductee Charles Warren said that Penley was “like a father” for him and many of his teammates during his time at Clemson.
“Larry has meant so much to all of us, to our careers and on a personal level,” Warren said. “He has been the face of the Clemson golf program for 27 years, and he’s meant a lot to a lot of people. This is just one small way to ensure that his legacy at Clemson will go on forever.”
“Coach Penley is Clemson golf. There is no other name that deserves to be on that facility,” said Lucas Glover, another former Tiger now in the PGA.
Penley is in his 27th season as Clemson’s head golf coach. Recently inducted into the South Carolina Golf Hall of Fame, Penley also is in the Collegiate Golf Hall of Fame and the Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame. In 2003, his team won its first national championship, and he has led the Tigers to 20 top-20 rankings, more than any coach in any sport in Clemson history.
All 26 of Penley’s previous Clemson teams have been selected to the NCAA regional tournament, and 23 have advanced to the national tournament. In last 13 years, Clemson has had nine top-10 national finishes, more than any other school in the nation.
Penley was himself a Clemson golfer, earning a degree in parks, recreation and tourism management in 1983. He was a First-team All-ACC selection in 1980-81, the Iron Duke Classic Champion in 1981, the Southeastern Intercollegiate Champion in 1981 and the South Carolina Amateur Champion in 1987 and 1988.
In 2003, Penley was named the Dave Williams National Coach of the Year and the Golfweek National Coach of the Year. He has been named ACC Coach of the Year six times.
“The initiative to name the building after Coach Penley demonstrates Larry's long-term success with our golf program, which is the most consistent program we have year in and year out. This is a testimony to Larry's coaching, leadership and success,” said D’Andrea.
Clemson needs to raise approximately $750,000 more for the project. To make a donation, contact Joe White at 864-656-3945 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.