Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Spring 2014 NCCGA National Championship. After months of preparation and 43 regional tournaments across the nation, the field is set and prepared to take on Crystal Springs Resort.
Plenty of storylines have developed throughout the season that has wonderfully woven into stories of NCCGA seasons past, and will culminate with a new chapter to write in the NCCGA record book on Sunday night.
As the teams start to trickle in to the New York/New Jersey metro area today and practice rounds get underway Friday, lets take a look at some of the top things to watch for on once the tournament starts on Saturday:
FEATURED HOLE – No. 4 Ballyowen, Par 3, 196 yards
For the first time in NCCGA history, the National Championship will feature one hole throughout the course of the tournament. Similar to the setup of the Honda Classic (minus the car), Cleveland Golf will be setup at the hole with prizes for every group.
Even though there won’t be a set of wheels on the line, the stakes are still very high. If anyone is good (lucky?) enough to ace No. 4, they will win an entire set of custom Cleveland clubs, along with a customized wedge for their 7 teammates.
With that being said, I expect everyone to be taking aim at the 200-yard marker on Saturday morning at the range.
TIGHT AT THE TOP
The NCCGA team rankings paint a good picture of what we can expect at the NCCGA National Championship, but they don’t tell the whole story.
The current top 10 teams that will be competing this weekend goes like this…
- Wisconsin (A)
- New Hampshire
- Ohio State (A)
- National U.
- East Carolina
- N.C. State
- Va. Tech
Plenty of familiar names here but also a couple of new ones. Ohio State and ECU will both play in their record 7th NCCGA National Championships. Pitt will make their third-straight appearance. UNH has been a powerhouse in the NCCGA no matter what region they have been in. And the list goes on.
So who do you have winning it all? The No. 1-ranked Badgers? A brand new Florida team?
The choices are aplenty. I’m going with the University of Georgia to take home the first National Title for the Southeast Region.
The two courses will offer a variety of tests, and no one hole will offer similar challenges to the one before or after it. Both will play in the 6,800-7,000 yard range, but length won’t be the biggest issue.
The links-style Ballyowen course will have fescue on top of gigantic mounds that players must avoid in order to score. Wild Turkey has its fair share of elevation changes too, to go along with a slew of water and sand trouble.
Players are going to have to make all different kinds of shots in mild temperatures with chances for wind speeds that will affect ball flight.
- Team Check-In at Ballyowen
- 10:00 Wedge Challenge presented by Cleveland/Srixon
- 1:30 P.M. Shotgun Start
- 8:00 A.M. Shotgun Start
- Trophy Presentation at Wild Turkey
***Dave Uhrmacher (@DaveUhrm) is the NCCGA Director of Communications.