College Golf: NC State Starts With Leadership, Delivers Strong Play

North Carolina State is a household name, synonymous with successful collegiate athletics, and he NC State college golf club team is no exception. Two individuals—Brandon Loughren and Josh Rackley—have sparked the growth and success of the program over the past few years, demonstrating leadership and stellar golf that epitomizes the National Collegiate Club Golf Association’s (NCCGA) mission to foster the growth of competitive non-varsity golf on campuses across the nation. Brandon Loughren, a senior, has been one of the strongest leaders of the NCCGA since 2010, when he took over as President of the team and soon thereafter the Regional Coordinator for the North Carolina Region.

The Region has performed well at NCCGA National Tournaments as East Carolina came out on top three of the past four semesters. Brandon created a team website, publicized the club on campus and social media, and grew his team from 15 to 40 members. He also led his team to Nationals at The Homestead - Cascades Course in the spring of 2012 and Sea Island in the fall of 2012. NC State ended up finishing 4th and 6th at Homestead and Sea Island respectively, with Brandon contributing 78 on the Cascades course.

Brandon has leveraged his experience as Club Team President and Regional Coordinator to bolster his resume and secure engineering internships, as well as a full-time job at Georgia Pacific starting in the summer of 2013. He has been a model leader for the NCCGA and is mentoring the new North Carolina Regional Coordinator, Will Dull, and spoke highly of Will’s leadership during the first tournament, “Will handled himself very well despite the weather complications and worked with the Presidents and course pro to make sure the tournament, despite the setbacks, ran smoothly.”

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NC State’s 2013 spring campaign started with an impressive victory at the rain-shortened tournament at the River Ridge Golf Club in Raleigh, NC. Josh Rackley, a senior who started golfing later than most at age 15, led the field with an impressive one-over par 73. The Professional Golf Management student at NC State has excelled in his four semesters in club golf. This wasn’t the first victory for Josh, who posted an astounding 69-64 at Tobacco Road in the fall 2012.

Speaking of that experience, “I got off to a great start both days…shot 30 on the front nine each day, and finished the second day with a bogey free seven under round of 64,” a tournament low for Josh. He hopes to play in the mini-tours post college and build upon his PGM major. Brandon and Josh look to continue the success of the program and hope to qualify for spring 2013 Nationals at the Kampen Course at Purdue, held April 27th and 28th. Brandon’s leadership and Josh’s play make the NC State college golf club team a force to be reckoned with in the NCCGA.

**Mike Belkin is a Co-Founder of Nextgengolf. Contact Mike on Twitter @MikeBelkin11