Club golf team tees off for the first time this year

Whether you are looking to play golf competitively at the collegiate level or just to go and play a few rounds, there is a new opportunity for you on campus.

This spring introduces the addition of a club golf team for Guilford College, and it is open to both men and women who want to learn to tee off or  to compete with fellow golfers.

“I knew someone at High Point University who said they had something similar to this, and it seemed like a cool idea we could have at Guilford,” said junior and club founder Spencer Becknell. “We thought it would be great to have the opportunity to play golf and teach those who don’t know about golf how to play.”

It is a very professional game, but anyone can learn to play. It’s not about how strong you are, or how hard you can swing, but it’s about technique.”

— Spencer Becknell, junior and club founder

Another core member to the club team, junior Ben Winstead, highlighted how the club and golf itself connect all involved.

“We liked the idea of the club because we are all pretty competitive, and a lot of us play golf together,” said Winstead. “The club team gave us the opportunity to play golf with other people in the community and to compete even though it is not at the varsity level.”

Both Becknell and Winstead are members of the football team in addition to managing the club team.

“As a junior on the football team, I spend a lot of my time doing football stuff or being with my teammates,” said Winstead. “The club team has given me the opportunity to meet guys I have a lot in common with but probably wouldn’t have met or gotten to know without it.”

The team competes through the National Collegiate Club Golf Association, who merged with the Boston-based company Nextgengolf. Their goal is to provide affordable golf memberships for non-varsity golfers, regardless of skill.

“There are teams all throughout the country that we have the opportunity to compete against in tournaments,” said Winstead. “The tournaments are almost anywhere in the country.”

The Guilford College team played their first tournament April 2 and 3 at the Skybrook Golf Club in Huntersville, North Carolina. First-year Gus McCann along with junior Ryan Dotson represented Guilford at the tournament.

“Being able to play at the college level has been my dream and now I can finally say I’ve done it,” said McCann.

Becknell shares this same passion.

“Golf is a cool sport to learn since you can play for your whole life,” said Becknell. “It is a very professional game, but anyone can learn to play. It’s not about how strong you are or how hard you can swing, but it’s about technique.”

To add to the welcoming aspect of the club, Becknell pointed out that everyone is looking to make each other better.

“If I’m noticeably better than someone, then I will help them out and give them advice to improve their game,” said Becknell. “Same goes for someone who is better than me. They will give me advice to improve my game.”

The chemistry amongst all members is strong as well.

“The relationships with (everyone) so far have been pretty cool,” said Winstead. “We’ve all become pretty good friends from it.”

“If you’re interested in playing golf, it doesn’t matter what skill set you have,” said McCann. “I recommend coming out if you’re looking to have a good time.”

Anyone can become a member of the club team. All they need to do is contact Becknell or Winstead via email.

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