If you type in college golf on google, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Golfweek is one of the first websites to appear. Golfweek has been golf's authoritative source for college golf over the past decade and has been covering the NCCGA closely. I had the chance to catch up with Julie Williams, one of Golfweek's bright young stars who authored NCCGA's first major story back in the fall of 2013.
How did you get into golf journalism?
My first move into journalism started when I got involved with the student newspaper -- called The Index -- at Truman State. It was a fast-paced experience where I eventually worked my way up into the editor position. Candidly I learned more working for the paper than in class!
Journalism isn't the easiest field to break into and having been turned down for a couple full time positions I ended up taking an internship with Golfweek which eventually morphed into a full time position.
Has college golf changed since your varsity golf days?
At Golfweek I discovered this whole other layer to college golf that I didn't see firsthand in my days. At the D2 level our golf coach was laid back and we were focused on academics. I liked that I could hit balls, have a club membership, go on 5 to 6 golf trips, and not have to worry too much about the competition.
When I started covering D1 golf, however, I started seeing girls move onto the LPGA before graduating and realized just how tough competition is at the top level. I feel as though many average golfers don't quite realize how talented these top varsity athletes are and how college golf is a legitimate sport.
Are most golf reporters good golfers?
Actually no, haha! We have a staff retreat every year and play a couple of days of match play set up like a Ryder Cup. Everybody has an intense love for the game among those who write about it, but the handicaps do vary!
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What is the state of millennial golf?
I think it's a tough time in your life to play golf. I don't play as much golf now as a I thought I would. It's just a matter of shifting priorities. It doesn't mean that you don't love the game and won't begin playing more, it's just a time issue. One of the major issues I see is pace of play.
Staying in college golf through NCCGA is such a good option for a player that likes that competitive nature of golf but doesn't want the seriousness of a full varsity golf commitment. It's nice to play college golf but still have your life off the course and it's great to see the NCCGA helping to keep these students in the game.
**Mike Belkin is a Co-Founder of Nextgengolf. Contact Mike on Twitter @MikeBelkin11