With potentially over 20 teams competing in our New England Region this fall, we explored the possibility to start a Southern New England Region to accommodate new teams starting up in Connecticut. With teams such as UCONN and Quinnipiac coming together in early September just before our first regional tournaments, we needed someone to step up and be the Regional Coordinator to help these new teams get involved. Joe Catalina of Southern Connecticut willingly stepped up and ran two fantastic tournaments this fall.
Why Did you want to be a Regional Coordinator?
I've been with NCCGA as a player for the past two years, seen how Conor McCormack (the Boston College New England Regional Coordinator) ran the tournaments, and felt like I was well-suited for the job. Further, I knew that the new Region would help out a lot of the budding teams in Connecticut. Speaking for Southern, it helped us tremendously because we didn't have to pay for hotels. The same goes for Central Connecticut and Quinnipiac.
Biggest Challenge Running a College Golf Tournament?
While I expected it to be a little hectic, overall I'm thrilled with how it went. The biggest challenge would have to be getting everyone on the same page with the tee times, who they were playing, and the weather at our first tournament.
What did you Learn about yourself?
I learned that I'm actually a pretty good leader and more organized that I thought I was. I'm an easy guy to communicate with, I guess!
Getting the feedback from the presidents. I had a few guys text me and say that I did a great job.
Goals for Growing Golf?
We had 5 or 6 teams play in the first two events. For next semester, I'd love to see 9 or 10 teams. UCONN thinks they'll have two teams, Providence will have their standard A and B teams, and new teams like Yale, New Haven, and Marist will likely be joining up too.
How was Pace of Play?
The first day of our first regional with the rain was a little slow, around 4.5 hours. All other rounds were around 4:14 with our final round at Stanley coming in at four hours even. The #ReadyGolf campaign helped a lot. I stressed having people hit provisional ball in my pre-round speech and to simply do what the campaign suggests; to play ready golf! From what I can tell, the campaign appeared to have a lot of success around the country. It's just one of the many improvements I've seen the NCCGA make in the two years I've been involved.
**Interview by @MikeBelkin11