Henry Spring's USA Trip Blog

USA Trip

TPC Sawgrass Tournament

I had a mixed tournament scoring 81, 77 and 73. One bad, one average, one good, and came 52 out of 78. It is a very hard and long course so overall I think a good tournament and wonderful experience. On the course we met Scott Shroeder from UNF, Bryce Wallor from UCF, Chad from Iowa (assistant coach to Andrew Tank), JC Deacon from UF, Bowen Sargent from University of Virginia. Bryce said his Uni was the 2nd biggest in USA, having 60000 students,  8 players on their roster and only 50 years old. We met parents and players who had many opinions on Uni’s, coaches, programs.

Visit to Uni North Florida in Jacksonville

Coach Scott Shroeder showed us around for 1 ½ hours, driving around the college, allowing us to meet the academic supervisor and check out the players facilities. The golf practice area was basic and small. The campus was only 30 years old.The cost of attending was about $32000 pa all up, with a campus of 17000 students. So, really interesting finding out about college golf, a very useful first up visit.

Visit to Uni Virginia

Coach Bowen Sargent showed us around for 4 hours. He has had lots of experience in recruiting international students. Thomas Jefferson founded the Uni in 1819 so lots of old buildings, made of brick and pillars, lots of trees, heaps of history. The township of Charlottesville was the same, a lovely town with a population of about 200,000. They have their own football team and stadium that seats 65000, a basketball stadium that seats 15000. They are spending $6m on a new golf centre, due to be completed in 2017. They have a total of 15,000 students. We visited 2 nearby golf courses that they use. One was a lovely private country club, the other was owned by the Uni and has fantastic practice areas, especially chipping and putting. He currently has 8 in the roster but wants about 11.

So, a fabulous visit to the USA, extremely worthwhile and has us excited about the future. It has made us realise that college golf in USA is definitely the way to go. There are so many opportunities, much better competition and facilities, as well as getting a great tertiary education.