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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

With early wins, golf high in rankings, spirits

Smack! A typical Guilford College golf team practice begins at the driving range where the players just rear back and let fly as the team works on its ball-striking.

Afterwards, first-year coach Corey Maggard, assigns goals for the day, whether that is working on their putting game or their iron shots. Then the team usually plays nine or 18 holes to cap off the day, if they get past the drills. Maggard forces his team to hit drill shots from 100 yards or less. The team will be there “all day” until they make the shots.

Currently, Guilford’s golf team is ranked second in Final Golf World and Nike Golf Coaches Poll. The team is also ranked second in Division III head-to-head standings, according to

“Being ranked is pretty cool,” said sophomore Noah Ratner. “The ranking puts a target on our back because everybody wants to come after us. It challenges us to work extra hard.”

“It’s nice, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot,” said junior Dusty Roberts. “It will mean something heading into May for the national championship, but not now.”

The team played five tournaments this fall season and the lowest finish they had was fifth, which was in the first tournament of the season. Ratner rated the fall season for the team as an “A.” He said that the team showed a lot of strength in its ability to come back.

“We have strong players with great mental games,” said Ratner. “We are a mentally tough team because we’ve played in bad weather and know how to get through the bad days.”

Ratner mentioned that the team’s strengths were the focus of all the players and the amount of work they put into their game. Roberts agreed with this point.

“We have expectations to do well because we have three experienced returners, and everyone else is solid,” Roberts said. “No one is under pressure to carry the team, everyone pulls their own weight.”

Another reason for the success of the team is Maggard. He is the first new head coach in 34 years. Maggard, a 2008 graduate of Transylvania University, replaces Jack Jensen, who died suddenly last March.

“He has done a great job,” Roberts said. “He has been all business from day one.”

According to Roberts, coach Maggard is a master of focusing his players. He works on the mental game and encourages mental toughness. Ratner added that coach Maggard can relate his experiences as a player to the team, which helps him make good decisions on the course, along with correcting the fundamentals.

“Coach is a real good guy,” Ratner said. “We couldn’t ask for anyone better.”

Coach Maggard takes pride in the work the team has put in so far and is modest with his expectations.

“I knew I was inheriting a talented group, but my expectations were simply that we would be the hardest working team in the country,” Maggard said. “I strive to be the hardest working coach and hold my players to high standard regarding their work ethic.”

Maggard thinks the team had a tremendous fall season and they should be proud of it. He was pleased that the team persevered through some tough days and battled to win all three of the Division III tournaments. For the spring season, he does not look too far ahead.

“We will focus for each round we play. But we know as each round closes we are one day closer to getting our chance to win a National Championship,” Maggard said. “Our preparation will not change.”

In the last fall tournament, the team rallied to win by shooting 284 in the final round of the O’Briant-Jensen Memorial Golf Tournament. Quakers’ junior Matt Hennick took medalist honors by shooting 142, and Roberts shot 144 to share second place in the 90-man field.

Even with this success, the team is still not satisfied.

“We’ve started the year off solid,” said Roberts. “We have a target on our back so we still have to fight for what we got to pull out wins.”

The team’s next tournament is Feb. 21, the Old North State Invitational in New London, N.C.

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