Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?
I look for young men who average 75 or better in tournament play. Then, at the level, NCAA DII, I need those guys to get to the point of playing par or better every round. The competition in our league is that good. The 5th man on our roster this fall is averaged75.2 in team qualifying (15 rounds), 15th man averaging 77. I also like to see high school GPA’s near or above 3.0, and the ACT score above 22. The idea of playing college golf is one thing, however, getting a degree is much more important. Not only do we stress academics in the golf program, but the entire SVSU athletic department does as well.
Back to golf and what else I evaluate a prospect on. Even more important than high school scores, I look at how they played in the summer junior tournaments. If they have not created a golf resume, I ask them to begin one. They are asked to list all of the tournaments they played in over the last year, listing the date and course played, name of event, what score was shot and where they finished in the field.
Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?
Through the years I’ve had several players exceed expectations. Some of them “bloomed” as juniors or seniors, a few as in-coming freshman. I can’t really say for sure if there are any specific reasons as to why these guys excelled. I can say with certainty, each of them had a confidence about them every time they teed it up. They believed they were the best player at that tournament, at that moment in time, and most of the time it shook out that way. They also worked very hard at improving their physical game, which in turn, gave them the edge mentally.
Currently, I have a junior who is one of those types of players. He “gets it.” As a in-coming freshman, he beat everyone in our 7 rounds of team qualifying over the Labor Day Weekend. We had some pretty good players (upper class-men), so I was pleasantly surprised. He went though some “ups & downs” as a freshman and sophomore, but remained one of our better players. Right now, he is the best player in our league (14 team league). He keeps himself in really good shape, watches what he eats, and is working at being a better academic student.