The NCCGA originated on the East Coast, originally known as the Southeastern Golf Club Association and now headquartered in Boston. However, slowly but surely, the #clubgolf movement has spread to the West Coast. UCLA was first in the summer of 2012, officially starting the first region on the West Coast. The "California Region" has since grown to include the Desert, Pacific, and Northwest Region. Where is the best college golf played? A few teams at San Antonio will say the answer is the West Coast.
UNIVERSITY OF OREGON
The University of Oregon college golf club team is ready to arrive in San Antonio at #TrailToTPC and make a statement, after last year's “weak performance” as many players have said. The #12 team in the country has made an immediate impact in the Northwest Region and are in search of their first National Championship after winning back to back regional championships. The Ducks have only been in the NCCGA for two seasons now, and will be making their second consecutive trip to the National Championship. Club President Ryan Parks said the guys believe their first trip will have a huge impact in their practice preparations and now know what to expect when they arrive on property at TPC San Antonio.
The team has 5 returning players and 3 newbies that will be hard to beat as they proved this entire season. The Ducks won both regional tournaments by over 50 strokes and didn’t see much competition all season. They are led by individual medalists Charles Sitton and Kevin Mackin, who will both make the trip to San Antonio and are looking to lead their team to the National Championship.
Sitton, who transferred from in state rival Oregon State, has led the team for the past 2 years and should make a huge impact on the Ducks roster. Newcomer Harrison Moir is sneaky all around the course. He isn’t a big guy like Sitton, but he can pound the ball and score well. He has been in contact with Oregon’s Varsity Coach Casey Martin and hopefully will get a shot at playing for the Ducks in the spring and the rest of his college career.
Oregon is under the radar as many of the West Coast teams are, but that’s not going to stop them seeing how the only tournament they have technically lost is the Spring 2015 National Championship.
As the Ducks head to the National Championship don’t count them out of the picture, they have a high powered team that can shoot low numbers with ease. Watch the leaderboard for these guys next week.
STANFORD UNIVERSITY COLLEGE GOLF
Four short years ago, two Stanford University students founded the Stanford Golf League, which provides non-varsity golfers a chance to meet fellow golfers and to play the game they all enjoy. Before the Spring 2015 season Spencer Savitz, founder and now team President, reached out to the NCCGA looking to form a team. They immediately formed a team but had to overcome numerous obstacles last year, as they struggled to field a full team and had to find methods of funding for transportation.
That didn’t stop them, though. They won both regional tournaments, and soon after received a wild card spot in the 2015 Spring National Championship The Cardinals unfortunately couldn’t field an entire team, only sending 5 players, which put them at a huge disadvantage. In addition to the poor weather conditions, they finished 28th. But they are looking forward to improving that finish in San Antonio this season.
The club golf team has grown to 20 members this year and only fields one team to allow for fluctuation in team rosters. They once again swept the Pacific Region, winning both regional tournaments this fall and becoming the first team ever to receive an automatic bid from the region. As they make their way to #TrailToTPC, they will be led by 3 returners (Spencer Savitz, Mac Chayavivatkul, John Rafael). Also joining them will be former member of the Stanford women’s varsity golf team and Canadian junior golf standout Jisoo Keel. She won her first NCCGA event this fall and has experience on the big stage, which should help the Cardinal in San Antonio. The team will be rounded out with other great golfers Will Bertelson, Benoit Miquel, Sebastian Cardenas, and Brendon Edelson, all of whom have extensive golf backgrounds and hope to make a big splash.
Savitz shared that the team has formed a great relationship with both the men’s and women’s varsity college golf teams, both being top-10 NCAA program and home to #2 Amateur Maverick McNealy. They are in the process of setting up matches against the men’s varsity college golf team, so if anyone is counting Stanford out of the National Championship this upcoming weekend, they are crazy.
**Adam Englehorn is the NCCGA's Director of Campaigns and Media. Contact him on Twitter @NCCGA.