Residing in Hilton Head Island, S.C., has many advantages. Access to wonderful beaches, first-class seafood restaurants, a great climate for yearlong golf training, and access to numerous golf courses just to name a few. Colleges and Universities across the country flock to the Lowcountry for their Fall and Spring tournaments as well. This past weekend, International Junior Golf Academy (IJGA) students had a great opportunity to watch some of the best schools in the country compete at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate at Long Cove Club on March 6-8, 2015.
This event featured nine of the top 13 teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin Team Rankings, including defending NCAA Champion Duke University. The Blue Devils, the 2014 Darius Rucker Intercollegiate Champions, defended their title with a dominating nine-shot victory over Louisiana State University and the University of Southern California.
There have been many others events in the area as well over the past month. University of Dayton hosted a tournament at Berkeley Hall, Michigan State hosted the Colleton River Collegiate on the Dye Course at Colleton River. The Hilton Head Lakes Invitational, Wexford Plantation Intercollegiate, Big East Men’s Golf Championship, Savannah College of Art and Design Men’s Spring Invitational, Armstrong Pirate Men’s Invitational, Sand Shark Classic, and TaylorMade Adidas Intercollegiate have all been held in the area recently or will take place this spring.
Many things can be learned from watching a college event. Getting a first-hand account of the action allows a student to see what steps they need to take in order to reach the next level. A college student’s approach to tournament play is much more focused, the preparation much more detailed. A spectator should focus on the way a player handles themselves in between their shots, or after the round with their interactions with coaches and parents. The things that a player does while not hitting the golf ball are just as important to performance as the actual golf shot.
The team dynamic is different than most competitive golf as well. Observing how the coach interacts with the members of the team, and also how the players interact with each other, can shed light on the culture of the program and the personality of the coach and team. When looking for a college, it is important to consider the team environment in which you will spend the next four years of your life.
Over the course of 2015, IJGA students will have many additional opportunities to attend college tournaments. The next time you go out to watch a college tournament, focus less on the golf and more on the intangibles that lead to better