BUCS Golf vs USA College Golf
A few months ago I decided to come back to the UK and have been given the chance to play BUCS golf whilst completing my masters degree; this has put me in the rare situation to have played University/College golf on both sides of the pond. After 2 months playing some BUCS events and having coming to the end of the Strokeplay season I thought i’d note down some comparisons.
The first difference is quite an obvious one — the weather. I was lucky enough to play my College golf in Florida, where are only real complaint about weather was that it was too hot. You were managing how much water you could fit in your golf bag, rather than how many layers you could fit on and still swing.
The next is the standard of golf courses. My first 3 events in the UK were at St Andrews Fairmont, Notts Hollinwell and Silloth. They are all top quality links/links stye courses, made available as we are playing at the start of winter. Comparing that to the States I played most of my events on not very well known courses. This was down to the time of year College golf takes place in. The majority of events are between September and April; this is peak season for golf in Florida. The top courses couldn’t really afford to give up tee times for 3 days in a row; their members wouldn’t allow it, and they’d lose a lot of money in green fees. So we ended up playing off of the beaten track a bit. Now as the golf program I played for increased in standard, so did our budget. We ended up playing in some NCAA Div 1 and 2 events; on top golf courses. If you’re in the UK however and thinking about going to the USA to college, it’s great; but don’t expect to be pegging it up at PGA tour venues every week.
The biggest difference I have found so far is the independence. College golf you are on your coaches time; he books the practice round, he says when you are leaving for the course and he decides where you’re going for dinner. BUCS golf is a bit different. Your coach will enter you into the event, book your hotel and then it’s on you. You book your own practice round whenever you’d prefer, you travel on your own schedule in your teammates car, and if you want a beer in the evening you can do. Now i’m not saying you should be allowed to go on a night out in between rounds but being able to relax is a big problem a lot of people have in USA college golf. Whether that is the coaches or the set up of the events in the USA, but it would be great if there was a bit more “down” time. The freedom also allows each individual to prepare as they normally would, rather than how the coach wants to prepare or compromising for other players.
The best thing about both however is getting the opportunity to compete whilst in education. This was the major reason for me coming and completing my Masters in the UK. I wanted to play competitive golf again, but I know it is not my full time job, and never will be. This platform is allowing me to study, do freelance work and also have a decent golfing schedule. I hope BUCS golf starts to spread the word out a bit more in the next few years for what a great option it is. So many people want to play golf but let it affect their plan B or other passions; BUCS Golf lets you do both.
Thanks for taking the time to read, if you could give me your $0.02 below it would be greatly appreciated. If you want to see more of my Golf Journey follow me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/baggers_alex/