Qualifying for NCCGA Nationals motivates UCF golfer

Written By: Chris Mari | @cmari1995

With another NCCGA club golf season coming up, and with another new year in progress, this is the time when I try to get into the feel of things. Any equipment changes, swing adjustments, or anything of that sort is happening during the 2 and a half month off-season before club golf starts back up again. Approaching my 4th season as a member of the UCF club golf team, all I have seen so far is progress.

When I joined the club team in the fall of 2014, we were ranked 82nd in the NCCGA. Following a successful Fall 2015 season we finished 33rd, making that the highest ranking the club has had in our very young team history. After back to back runner-up finishes in the South Florida Regional tournaments to Keiser, we fell short on our goal of qualifying for NCCGA Nationals at TPC San Antonio, so it was back to the driving range for us.

Although full of disappointment, I am excited for the upcoming season. This is new territory for our team, and we are on a mission for our first NCCGA nationals bid. I was disappointed with myself, but also highly motivated. I joined two golf tours as an amateur to stay tournament competitive, the Golfweek AmTour, and the OGA Florida Atlantic Series at Timacuan. Both of those tours keep me competitive as I waited for the college club golf season to start back up again in spring.

Along with more tournaments, I also went back to the basics. Although I have no new swing changes, I wanted to make sure my fundamentals were spot on. Even though I struggled at first, I can tell that these small changes will pay off in the long run.

One thing that people don’t understand. is as a full-time college student, along with other extracurricular activities such as student government, Greek life, and volunteering, it’s difficult to get better at a game that requires multiple hours of practice. I'm able to get out on the golf course twice, maybe three times a week, but it’s still not enough. I’ve always been the person trying to outwork the next, and with a very busy college schedule, it’s hard to do such a thing.

This spring will be my 4th season playing for UCF Club Golf, and I am ready to make this the best season yet. The #JourneyToBetter has been a long one, but it’s not even close to being done.

I want to be the best golfer I can and the NCCGA tournaments have reignited the competitive side I haven’t had since playing high school golf. Now that there is a tournament nearby my hometown in southwest Florida this semester, I am excited to play close to home. Watch out everyone, because this semester is going to be the best one yet, and I am ready to show the world what my #JourneyToBetter has become!