Senior, All-American golfer prepares for final spring season

As his senior year draws to a close, golfer Noah Ratner has the spring semester left to make the best of his final year at Guilford College.

The only senior on his team, Ratner is majoring in sports management with a minor in business.

For an independent study in sports finance with Associate Professor of Sports Studies Bob Malekof, Ratner is researching what exactly the best approach is to professional golf to calculate the money to pay for life if he goes into that field.

After graduating he plans to play amateur golf over the summer, and move on to professional golf afterwards.

“I don’t want to look back one day and say I should have given it a try,” said Ratner in an email.

Not certain of what else he wants to do, Ratner claims he has considered working in the golf field or in teaching golf.

“We’ll see where golf will take me,” he said.

For all four years Ratner has been at Guilford, the golf team won the Old Dominion Conference championships with the exception of one year when they were named runner up at nationals.  The team hopes to keep improving and try to win nationals this year.

“Our team here at Guilford is very close,” he said.  “We all hang out together on and off the course every day. I have made friendships that I will have for the rest of my life.”

His teammates have good things to say as well.

“Noah has always been the type of guy that will always be there to help you with your golf swing, but also be there for you as a friend too,” said junior Dallas Page, a teammate to Noah. “When I define Noah as a person, I think of a person who is a true leader. Noah is a fun guy but he also knows when to be serious too. Noah is a true leader and he is one of the hardest workers I have ever seen.”

Former head coach Jack Jensen recruited Ratner in his first year at Guilford.

“He was the only college coach who believed in me,” he said.

When Jensen passed away, Corey Maggard became coach of the men’s golf team.

“Noah is the only player on the team who was here before I took over.”  Maggard said in an email. “I have never coached a harder working player than Noah. He is well liked by all of his teammates and is always leading the jokes. But as a coach, I never have to worry about anything else being above golf on Noah’s priority list.”

A multiple PING All-American, Ratner has been named ODAC’s Golfer of the Week 11 times and Player of the Year twice.  He was recognized as the best golfer in the NCAA Division III and received the 2012 Jack Nicklaus Award from the Golf Coaches Association of America, an award given to the top golfers in the nation.

I love going out and practicing everyday because you never know what you’re going to learn that day,”  Ratner said.  “One day you’ll think you have found it, then the next you could find something new that’s even better. You have to struggle sometimes as well to get better, because this game owes you nothing. So my goal is to just keep on getting better everyday.”