It takes hard work to start a new club golf team and one of the biggest challenges in growing golf on college campuses is finding organized groups of students interested in golf. It comes as no surprise that fraternities are a key resource in finding students interested in club golf. Matt Dohse of Iowa State is the Director of Greek Life Golf for the NCCGA in 2014, and shares his thoughts on the state of fraternity golf and why it's so important for our continued growth.
Is it surprising to you that nearly 25% of NCCGA competitors are involved in Greek life?
It’s not too surprising to me that nearly 25% of NCCGA competitors are involved in Greek Life in colleges around the country. Considering how many high school golfers there are in the country and how few of them advance onto play college golf. Playing club golf is the best opportunity for them to still play competitive golf while enjoying the social life of college at the same time. What I tell people in Greek houses why I choose to play club golf over varsity golf it's simply because I want to still be serious and put in the time to practice yet also want to have fun with it and enjoy my college years at the same time. Golf seems to be connected to Greek life because its proper and it’s a great time for friends to get together and relax and get away from school.
Is there a strong Greek life presence on your team?
I would say that there is about a 25% presence of Greek golfers on my club team at Iowa State University. Considering there are 28 fraternities and 13 sororities at Iowa State there is a strong Greek presence at the school. We have members from multiple fraternities at the school and it does help us recruit because they can make announcements at chapter meetings and send out emails easier to their each respective house.
What does the ATO fraternity stand for and mean to you guys?
ATO to me is more than what most non Greek members think a fraternity is. Fraternities are not just a place where people pay to make friends or constantly partying with bad grades. Some of my best friends I have met through my fraternity. I have also had some opportunities during college that I wouldn’t have had if I weren’t in a house. I have been able to network with alumni of our house and I am able to get connections into the professional field.
Some people often refer to the NCCGA as a fraternity of sorts, thoughts?
The NCCGA is a great way to get involved with the game of golf. I started working for the NCCGA January 1st and because of this I was able to network with Mike Belkin and obtain my current internship with the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour in Jacksonville, Florida. Also due to working for the NCCGA I have met and gotten to know many of the members of the Cleveland Golf and Srixon team as well. I would eventually love to work in a position that these guys are doing. Golf has always been a love of mine and that’s why I have been working in the industry through high school and college. I hope to use these jobs as great network for my future.
Do most fraternities have golfers that would be interested in the NCCGA?
Always. I know a lot of members of fraternities at Iowa State and I enjoy having conversations with them about golf because a lot of fraternity men enjoy golf and I let them know about club golf at the school and since I am the club golf president I let them know they should come out and see what we are all about. Fraternity golf is a big resource for growing the game in my opinion.
Have either of you ever tried a fraternity golf fundraiser?
My chapter at Iowa State hasn’t tried a fraternity golf fundraiser but I know other fraternities have had success with them.
**Matt Dohse served as the NCCGA's Director of Greek Life Golf in 2014.