Excerpt from The Wrong Side of the Ball: the “Lefty Dome”
The GS Design “world headquarters” in Glendale, Wisconsin, is a fabulous facility. My bosses, Marc and Jeff, who started the company in 1986, have always strived to make it a fun place to work. As the company has grown over the years, they’ve built the offices (really just converted warehouse space) into a veritable office wonderland. It’s very roomy, including some storage space in the back. When I described my project to Jeff, I asked him if I could use that back storage room. I envisioned hanging a blanket from the wall and hitting practice balls into it from a piece of carpeting – only during lunch hour and after-hours, of course. He said sure, that would be fine – though he appreciated it when I told him it would not be a “permanent” set-up, that I could put it up and take it down easily as needed.
One night after work I went back to the office and set up my new hitting bay. It turned out great! It even had a serendipitous built-in ball return, in the form of a slight incline leading to the door. After the balls hit the blanket, they dropped down, and rolled right back to my feet.
The only glitch I encountered was that the blanket I was using was not quite heavy enough to absorb the full impact of the practice balls – they were hitting the overhead door behind the blanket with a pretty good “clunk” and bouncing back pretty hard. But that was easily remedied by sliding a couple of plastic cups behind the top corners of the blanket to hold it out a little farther from the wall.
I decided my new facility needed a name, so I dubbed it the “Bob Charles/Phil Mickelson Indoor Backhanded Practice Facility” – or the “Lefty Dome” for short.