Club golf team reaches national championship

Danielle Walker

Missing the feel of competition and seeing a need for a club golf team at The University of Alabama, sophomores Lee House and Cole Becker decided to start the club in fall 2012 with the help of the Student Recreation Center.

“It provides me with an opportunity to play competitive golf while providing me with great leadership experience and allowing me to meet new people from this University and others across the nation and make new friends,” House, the president of the club, said.

House and Becker, the vice president, attended an informational meeting at the rec center, sent in their applications and assembled a team of eight players. They used the fall, winter and spring semesters of last year to prepare for competitions this year.

Now the team boasts 16 members and attended its first National Collegiate Club Golf Association National Championship this year.

“We are a competitive team with a lot of attributes that resemble a D-1 team,” Becker said.

Each semester, the team competes in two regional tournaments and possibly a national championship. Tournament locations change each time, enabling the team to travel to several different states.

“The part about the team I enjoy most is the traveling part,” Becker said. “The teammates that I have are some of my closest friends, and we were able to travel to different states and meet new people.”

This year, both regional tournaments were held in Tennessee, and the championship tournament was in South Carolina.

To qualify for the national championship, the team took first place in both regional tournaments, beating out Tennessee Tech and East Tennessee State, the previous national champions.

Alabama’s club golf team placed 17th overall in the national championship tournament two weeks ago. The team competed against 208 players on 24 other teams.

“The competition was strong at the national championship,” House said. “Just qualifying for the national championship in our first semester in the NCCGA was a great accomplishment. It really put our name out there for everyone in the club golf realm and allowed our team a great opportunity to gain some experience and see what we are competing against.”

The realization of such immediate success was hard to comprehend for the newly-formed team.

“We were in disbelief that we made it this far so quickly,” Becker said.

With such success in their first year competing, the club golf team hopes to expand and continue to compete with other teams around the country.