A Unique Athletic Experience
The lifestyle of a division one golfer is very different than other division one athletes. Instead of constant punishing practices full of drills and running exercises designed by the coaching staff, golf practice is more a choose your own adventure. Although there are some days where we are required to complete drills, this is usually only up to half our practice. The rest of our practice we decide whether hitting balls on the range, putting and chipping, or playing the course will be best for our games.
Golfers do have the benefit of not being subjected to fitness testing at the beginning and end of each season. Although golf does not have the same strenuous schedule of running in practice, conditioning and lifting, our schedule is taxing. We practice every morning thirty minutes away from campus, which means that we pile into the van at 7:15 am every morning and return around 11:45 am. Weekends are spent playing 18 holes that take up to four and a half hours plus the hour of travel time. Golfers also must face playing 36 holes in a single day in most of our tournaments. This means that we leave the hotel at 6:30 am and return back around 8 pm, having walked around 12 miles without stopping. Although we do get food provided by the tournament, we usually are shoveling that into our mouths as we walk or between shots. After such a long day on the course doing homework is pretty much out of the question once return to the hotel.
Golfers tend to miss an extensive amount of class time because our tournaments are always multiple days. For most tournaments we fly to our destinations on say a Friday, play a practice round of 18 holes on Saturday, play 36 holes Sunday, and 18 holes on Monday before flying out. This is very different from many other teams that travel to weekend games and return the next day after playing their game. There is also many times when tournaments are from a Wednesday to Sunday, which is once again an extensive amount of class time to miss. Golf has two main seasons, both the spring and the fall, which is challenging, but our schedules are not as long as say Ice Hockey. The golf fall season spans from Labor Day weekend till October 10th where we fit in 4 tournaments, meanwhile Ice Hockey starts in October and finishes in March playing an extensive amount of games.
The decision of playing time is much easier in golf because it is mostly off of straight numbers. Each player plays the exact same course on the same day and the top five players travels to each tournament. Meanwhile, in sports such as soccer or basketball it is much more challenging and up for personal interpretation which player in which set of situations preforms better. The location of our tournaments in almost always beautiful, unlike getting stuck in a sweaty gym, we are usually playing in resort communities. The opponent schedule is very unique for golf because we do not play each ACC School once; instead we play at invitational tournaments with a wide variety of opponents.
Even though being a college golfer comes with lots of perks there is still a slight bias against us within the athletic department. Golf teams usually receive little recognition and are looked down in the department as not the best athletes. Playing college golf is an extremely unique experience and I would highly recommend it!