Golf Academy of America – Dallas has dominated the NCCGA Texas region this Fall semester, winning both regional tournaments over other National qualifiers Baylor and Texas-Austin. The club enters the NCCGA National Championship as the #1 ranked team in the country.
I had the opportunity to speak with David Estabrook, head coach of the team, to learn more about the team and their journey to TPC San Antonio.
With Texas being one of the most competitive regions, how does the team feel about winning both regional tournaments this Fall?
It was very unexpected. We got a few really good players this past year. It was really something special to go down to Baylor’s home golf course and beat them. A huge contributing factor was having the 1st and 2nd place individuals. The team felt very fortunate after winning the first tournament. Once the second tournament was around the corner, everybody had their eyes set on winning that to go to nationals.
Can you talk a little bit about the players on the team?
The golfers come from all different kinds of work experiences, ages and backgrounds, but the one thing we all share is that we are passionate about the game of golf. We do a lot of technology driven competitions to build team unity.
Is there a player in particular that has really stood out?
Blaine Butner has been a huge contributing factor to the team. He was also featured as the NCCGA Player of the Week. In his first semester on the team, he got a second place finish and a first place finish in the two regional tournaments. Cory Pieper has also been a huge asset to the team as he won the first event as an individual.
Is there anything special or different about the team that people would find interesting?
Unlike other colleges where people are heading off to jobs all over the world, everybody on the team is focused on going into the golf industry. The students go into all kinds of jobs. One of our golfers is on the general manager track, a few are going to be assistant pros that will teach, and some will scatter around to various companies in the golfing industry.
**Brandon Harrold is the NCCGA President. Contact him on Twitter @NCCGA.