NCCGA competitors put hours of time and effort into making their team—and the Association as a whole—a successful entity through which we enjoy competitive non-varsity golf. Nobody exemplifies this better than University of Virginia Club Golf President Christian Dolan who recently qualified at Bethpage for the 2013 U.S. Amateur Pub Links Championship.
Nicknamed “Big C” due to his 6-foot, 6-inch stature, not only has Christian proved to be a big part of UVA's program off the golf course since he took over the president position from alumni, John Andrade, but also has proven himself to be a big part of the team on the course. During the past three semesters Christian has competed in each regional tournament and all three nationals appearances for his squad. He has failed to finish outside the top-10 in each of his eight NCCGA regional tournaments, including wins in FIVE of them—not too shabby. On top of it, he is only getting better. He had the Capitol’s best scoring average and finished in a tie for second with ECU’s Tom Duty—who recently graduated and has turned professional, playing on the NGA Tour—at the spring national tournament at Purdue’s Kampen Course.
Similar to Duty, Christian aspires to turn professional once he graduates in the spring of 2014. “I would like to try out some mini tours and hopefully make it to bigger and better tours,” Dolan said. “Once school is out of the way, I’d like to focus more on golf and give [playing professionally] a shot.”
Christian had the opportunity to qualify for a spot on the Virginia’s varsity team, but fell one shot short to David Pastore, who was also a club golfer, shooting 69-72 (-3) to Pastore’s 74-66 (-4). Although Dolan fell short of his goal to play for UVA’s varsity team, that hasn’t kept him from achieving greatness by any means. On June 18th, Christian was co-medalist along side John Yu, shooting a one-under 141 in the U.S. Amateur Public Links qualifier at Bethpage Blue. “I almost aced my 8th hole of the day,” Dolan said. “I hit a six iron that hung up on the lip. I wasn’t really sure how my score would hold up, but scores were high due to afternoon rain.”
In addition to playing outstanding golf, Christian has built incredible bonds with his teammates. “I think my best experience with the UVA Club Golf team has been going to nationals as a team each semester,” Dolan said. “Our team gets along really well so we always have a great time on road trips.”
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Christian, like so many of his fellow club presidents out there, feels the NCCGA is moving in the right direction. “I think everyone needs to know how great the NCCGA really is,” Dolan said. “Each tournament is the perfect combination of competitiveness and fun. I like that the NCCGA is expanding and becoming more competitive.” Though he thinks the organization is moving in the right direction, Christian feels there are things the NCCGA can work on. “I would like to see more small scale tournaments between schools that aren’t regional tournaments, like the Ryder Cup style match that we play against Virginia Tech each semester—that’s definitely the most fun event all semester. The Tech guys are a lot of fun and competitive as well.”
Heading into the fall semester, Christian has been fine-tuning his game and gearing up to compete for a team spot in this year’s national tournament at Barefoot Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC. As a friend and fellow competitor, I wish Christian the best of luck in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, in upcoming NCCGA tournaments—maybe not so much luck in future Ryder Cup style tournaments against my Virginia Tech Hokies—and in his journey as a professional golfer. I know that no matter what Mr. Dolan does, he will achieve success with his friendly personality and his tireless work ethic.
Big C, best of luck, buddy. Keep being you and you will go far in life, you can take my word for it!
**Austin Dillard served as the NCCGA's Director of Communications, as well as the Virginia Tech Club Golf President.