The Northern Colorado team turned two years old this fall, and to celebrate they are heading to their first ever NCCGA National Championship.
Tanner Brown is the club team’s president and co-founder. Brown made the decision to give up his pursuit of playing collegiate baseball, and not long afterwards he found an old set of lefty golf clubs in his grandma’s basement.
He began teaching himself how to play and fell in love with it. One day, one of his brothers from the Sigma Chi fraternity called him and said 'let’s start a club golf team'. They immediately started the team with 7 of their “brothers”. He remembers it was a Thursday when they decided to put the team together, and they had to get all of their money into the NCCGA by the Monday so it was a huge rush getting everything together. Since the team’s start - being made up of fraternity brothers from only one fraternity - Tanner has put in a lot of effort to do more recruiting and get the club golf team’s name out on campus. He really wants the team to live on after he finishes college next semester.
“There was a team here about 5 years ago, but it was a senior that started it and when he graduated the team dissolved." Brown said. "I want to make sure I take all of the right steps to prevent that and keep it going once I’m gone.”
One of those steps to keeping the team going after Tanner graduates is to continue getting the word out to campus about the team, and he thinks getting to Nationals this fall will be a huge help in that.
“We are competing with South Carolina and Florida, all the big schools. If we can show we are playing these big schools it will go a long way and will help us attract the good golfers.”
Although they knew they had to play really well and have a little bit of luck, the team always had their eye on making it to Nationals and had the belief that they are good enough.
In order to get to Nationals though the team has had to put in some work and make some sacrifices, or else they were going to have to deny their bid the way Colorado State had to.
“Heading to the National Championship in Disney is a once in a lifetime experience that none of our guys wanted to pass up”. Tanner buys a ski pass to Winter Park annually and he said he was just about to purchase his pass for this season when the Nationals bid came to them. “I had to decide between Nationals and my ski pass. I had to pick Nationals over skiing this winter.”
There are a few guys on the team that are done after this season and they knew they would never get the chance to travel and compete as a team again so there was no way they were going to pass it up. The local club that the team practices at is just as happy for the team. They have extended their deal with the team and allowed them to continue practicing until they leave for Orlando.
They also have a jar at the course with the team’s picture and a short description of what the team is doing and why they need help. A GoFundMe was started for the team and they have raised almost $1,000 in about 15 days. Tanner is actually going to the Pepsi Center to run a 50-50 raffle to raise more money for the team.
Usually in Colorado, the team wouldn’t be able to touch a club from the time between the last tournament of the year and the National Championship. Instead of looking at two feet of snow, they are looking at 70 degrees and sun which is giving them the opportunity to get some extra practice in. Heading into the championship, Tanner said he just wants to enjoy the experience.
“We aren’t stressing too much about the numbers once we get there.”