January 30, 2023

Taking College Golf to the Next Level

AMU Communications

Opening of Judy Fyke Practice Golf Complex

On Friday, January 27, Ave Maria University held the dedication ceremony of the Judy Fyke Practice Golf Complex.

The ceremony featured a ribbon-cutting, an opening prayer and blessing of the complex by Fr. Bob Garrity, associate professor of theology at AMU, along with a welcome message from AMU’s President, Mark Middendorf. There were also remarks from the University’s Vice President of Athletics, Joseph Patterson, and benefactor Jim Cunningham, whose generous donation made the creation of the golf complex possible.

The facility was built in memory of Cunningham’s “angel,” Judy, who passed away in January of 2015. Prior to the golf facility, Cunningham helped to create an emergency fund, which was distributed to many Ave Maria University students in need during COVID.  He has also sponsored scholarships at the University, starting the Cunningham Family Scholarship Endowment.

“I have been supporting AMU since 2006 due to their commitment to the Blessed Mother,” said Cunningham. “I am thrilled to be a part of this project as a way to remember Judy.”

The Golf Complex, built on University grounds, complements the two 18-hole courses within the town limits of Ave Maria for Gyrene golfers. The complex features areas for chipping and putting.

“The training center is paramount to the golf program at AMU, as the most important aspect of the game happens in and around the putting green. It offers the AMU golf teams the same opportunities to improve that most Division-One universities have.” – Michael Kernicki, Director and Head Coach of Golf at AMU

The facility—which was officially inaugurated with a ceremonial putt by Jim Cunningham—is now open for Ave Maria University students, staff, and their registered guests.

“AMU Golf is unique in ways that include the wonderful location, the wealth of resources, and great leadership in our passionate coaches. The fact that when we put on our uniform to compete we are honoring Our Lady, every single time makes me proud of what this program is doing. I firmly believe there is an extremely bright future ahead.” – Gabe Decasas, AMU Student (’24)

Ave Maria University thanks Jim Cunningham for his generosity—and looks forward to seeing Gyrene golfers thrive in their practices and games!

If you would like to support AMU, you can join the Annunciation Circle, a community of members who support Ave Maria University through their prayers and monthly donations of $10 or more. Learn more about Ave Maria’s Annunciation Circle here.



Commencement Keynote Highlights Featuring Best-Selling Author Patrick Lencioni

In the keynote address, Patrick Lencioni encouraged the graduates to always prioritize their relationship with Christ first, and not let...

The Next Generation of Catholic Nurses

2023 AMU Nursing Program Pinning Ceremony  On May 5, 2023, Ave Maria University celebrated the class of 2023 nursing program...

Beginning Graduation Weekend in Prayer

2023 AMU Baccalaureate Mass  On May 5, 2023, Ave Maria University began graduation weekend with a Baccalaureate Mass for the...

What are you