|Matt Davis speaks during the 8th College Golf Seminar at Plymouth Country Club.|
*VIDEO: Matt Davis
*VIDEO: Lisa Hwang
*VIDEO: Steve Oh
*VIDEO: Mac Thayer (Part One)
*VIDEO: Mac Thayer (Part Two)
Seminar aids students, parents in college golf search
A “find your best fit” theme highlighted the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s 8th College Golf Seminar Nov. 8 at Plymouth Country Club.
Seventy-five students and parents attended the free event — an educational resource for student-athletes considering collegiate golf. Featured speakers included Matt Davis, the women’s golf coach at Delaware Valley College and an assistant professional at Indian Valley Country Club; Lisa Hwang, mother of former Junior golfer Jalen Griffin, now a freshman at the University of San Francisco; Steve Oh, former player and golf coach at Columbia University; and Mac Thayer, founder and executive director of Junior Golf Scoreboard.
Davis opened the seminar by dispelling myths associated with college golf. He also stressed the importance of attending a school that affords playing time.
“You want to experience college golf,” Davis said. “You want to be on the traveling team. You want to get to a school that’s going to be successful for you. You want to fit your academics, number one. It is a student-athlete, not an athlete-student, although that line does get confused sometimes.”
Hwang offered a parent’s perspective in the college golf search. Golf camps, tournament participation and unofficial campus visits all factored into Griffin’s eventual enrollment at San Francisco, she said.
“The path that we took isn’t necessarily the path for everybody,” Hwang said. “Jalen was a good player, but he wasn’t top nationally, so you have to be realistic. Getting on the radar screen is key. As parents, we’re there to support them to the best of our ability. Right now, kids are getting recruited very early.”
As a former college player, Oh learned firsthand how to balance academics and golf. As coach, he emphasized communication, priorities and time management — skills that stretch beyond the course.
“You’re always going to have make decisions and to balance things for the rest of your life,” Oh said. “You’ll be very well-prepared to do that. A lot of prospective employers look at those things very highly. Golf can be something that’s a big part of your life. It has been for me, and I love the competition. But at the same time, as much as golf has been important to me, it’s never been the number one decision in my life.”
A “best fit” mindset benefits both student and parent, according to Thayer. Visibility — whether through tournament participation or individualized inquiries to coaches about their program — supplements that line of thinking.
“You have to use a best fit philosophy,” Thayer said. “In other words, is the school right for you? Do you like the campus? What are you going to pay after scholarship grants? Does it have the course of study you want? Keep that in mind. Promote yourself to schools that meet that best fit philosophy, and you’ll be a lot more successful.”
Video presentations from 8th College Golf Seminar will be made available on the Association’s YouTube channel.
Golf Association of Philadelphia
Founded in 1897, the Golf Association of Philadelphia (GAP) is the oldest regional golf association in the United States and serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. Its 150 Member Clubs and 57,000 individual members are spread across parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. As Philadelphia’s Most Trusted Source of Golf Information, the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.