If you look at our map of NCCGA college golf teams, you may be surprised at how east-coast centric our player base is. The NCCGA originated in the Southeast and has expanded rapidly over the past year into Central, Northwest, and Southwest. Leading the charge for us in our Pacific Region is Adam Englehorn, recipient of the 2014 spring Regional Coordinator of the semester award. We caught up with him on his summer plans and goals for the fall 2014 semester.
What is the summer like for PGM students?
I'm doing my internship for the Idaho PGM program working at Hillcrest Country Club in Boise, Idaho. It's about learning the ropes of becoming a PGA Professional, working 40 hour weeks and learning about what it's actually like to be a pro at a golf club. Once you're in the PGM program you do an internship every summer. By the time you graduate you must have 16 months of internship to get certified as a Class A professional. You also need to complete the work experience portfolio, pass knowledge tests, and then playing side of it where you need to shoot a certain score before. At U of Idaho's course you have to shoot at 155 or better through 36 holes to pass. We typically play the gold tees (middle) and the pins are set up in the front, middle, back while other courses will just put the pins in the middle of the green.
How can we make college golf better in the Northwest Region?
New teams such as Gonzaga and Washington State are looking like they'll compete which is great to see. As for new colleges, we are working with U of Oregon and hopefully they will get approved, but other schools such as Oregon State, Western Oregon, Boise State are all realistic adds for the fall. A couple other big schools are Montana and Montana State although the travel of 8 hours plus will make them joining at this point a challenge.
Goals for the fall semester?
My personal goal is to keep expanding the region. I just want the region to have better college golf teams that ultimately make it to the National Championship. Pacific Northwest has a lot of potential in competing at the NCCGA National Championships. With some of the schools we've planned on having smaller side tournaments as well. Central Washington and U of Idaho are the two top teams so we're going to have a match play tournament this fall and have an extra tournaments us going at it. We have a nice little rivalry going and I want to help some of the other new teams set up similar types of tournaments as well.
How can we improve pace of play in college golf?
We had a few issue with it, but we need to enforce it more. Instead of having the Regional Coordinator's monitoring it, we need to get in contact with the head and assistant pros to see if they can help us out or perhaps get volunteers who are specifically dedicated to pace of play.
It's very hard to monitor pace of play when you are actually playing in the tournaments so having better communication with our dedicated volunteers who actually put people on the clock and issue penalties is key in my mind.
**Adam is a rising Junior at University of Idaho, contact him on twitter @NCCGANorthwest