New Yegen facility to analyze golf/baseball swings

2014-07-02T15:00:00Z New Yegen facility to analyze golf/baseball swingsBy BILL BIGHAUS bbbighaus@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

A video analysis center for golf and baseball is being built on the east end of the driving range at Peter Yegen Golf Club in Billings.

The 7,500-square-foot metal building will include six hitting stalls that will be set up for video analysis of swings and to provide instruction. 

There will also be three bay doors on the north side that will allow golfers to hit onto the driving range during inclement weather.

The building, which will have stadium turf throughout, should be open in mid-August, said Randy Northrop, who is a part-owner of Peter Yegen and is the public course's director of golf.

Northrop said Montana Golf Properties, which runs the golf course, will own the facility.

The Yegen course will be partnering with Hitter's Club Sports, which also has a baseball/softball facility at Oscar's Park, and Billings Clinic in operating the complex.

"We've got a bunch of good people involved in trying to benefit the community," said Art LaGaly, president of the Hitter's Club.

Northrop estimated the cost of the project to be around $500,000. He said it has been in the planning stage for eight to 10 months.

"What our big thing is going to be is video analysis for both golf and baseball," Northrop said. "Obviously bringing in the Hitter's Club will solidify our baseball and softball side of it.

"In all of the bigger cities, right now, golf video analysis and baseball video analysis is becoming 'the' thing."

The facility will be open to teams and individuals, with a pay-as-you-go price structure.

Northrop said the golf course will add some employees to answer phones and set up lessons, which will be taught by Yegen's current staff.

He added that LaGaly, Greg Steffanich and Randy Walter of the Hitter's Club will handle the baseball/softball portion of the operation.

"If we keep getting winters like we had last year, I think it will be great," Northrop said of the facility's expected impact on his golf business. "It gives us a winter income, which we've needed.

"I'm also a huge baseball fan, so for us to get involved on the baseball side is very exciting for me."

In addition to three hitting tunnels for baseball, there will also be two pitching lanes, a training area and a baseball/softball pro shop.

"Our customed-designed state-of-the-art video equipment will allow all players an easy observation of their hitting and pitching skills," LaGaly said.

Chad Miller of Billings Clinic said trainers from the clinic's Sports Specific Training program have been involved with the Hitter's Club for over 10 years. "We're super excited to add the golf athletes," Miller said.

The Yegen course has plenty of those, said Northrop.

"We have probably the largest group of senior golfers in the city," he said. "We also have the largest junior golf program in the city."

Northrop said S Bar S Building Center is in charge of the construction. Stockman Bank is providing the financing.

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