Where college students go for golf

How I started an NCCGA club golf team

By Zach Van Dorn

Golf has always had a huge impact on my life. and for years I knew I wanted to play competitively beyond high school. In the fall of 2018 I eagerly arrived at Northwest Missouri State, but unfortunately for me my dreams and goals of playing collegiate golf went unfulfilled. Thankfully I stumbled upon the NCCGA, and they gave me the opportunity to compete in a fun environment with my peers. From there, I spent a semester getting the Northwest club golf team up and running.

In the beginning I felt clueless. I had no idea how to start a club from the ground up, receive funding from the school, and find players around campus. The NCCGA staff, our club advisor Kori Hoffman, and one of my friends Derek Damman were able to help me figure things out. Our first semester getting the club together wasn't easy. We spent time creating flyers, making connections and trying to get a solid group of players together. We attended the schools club fair and had our student rec center send out an email about the team.

Northwest Missouri State  (1)

Even through some rough patches, after one semester we were able to make a lot of progress. We were very lucky to get a great deal through Mozingo Lake golf course that offered anyone on the club golf team an $85 membership for the semester. Along with the membership we were granted 1500$ from our student rec center to travel and pay for tournament fees. However, after all of this we were only able to gather 6 players to compete. 

Our first year of tournaments we struggled. We brought many golfers who posted scores of 100+. However, many of these guys are still with us and I greatly value them for helping grow the club golf team. Of the original 6 guys, 5 are still on the roster and the other one graduated. After one year we went from 6 active members to 34. This past semester we posted tremendously better scores and have created much more interest around campus. We are continuing to grow each semester and get better. I've had many students who are coming here next semester as freshman or transferring from a varsity program to Northwest that have shown interest in joining the team as well. 


The best advice I can give to someone looking to start a club golf program is use your resources. Find an advisor who is willing to help, contact the NCCGA they are a great group of guys and girls who will point you in the right direction, and utilize all available resources on campus. Many schools have money to give out through the student senate, the rec center or student housing and it just takes a little extra effort to make it happen. 

If you have questions about starting a club team and want a student's perspective, feel free to reach out to me at zachvandorn0@gmail.com or 816-807-3002

Subscribe to stay up to date