Golf Teams Drive through Competition
David Krantz, Sports Editor
Started just two years ago, the golf program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has quickly become one of the college teams to be on. Coached by Kim and Mike Haddow, the Eagles golf teams have been quick to make a name for themselves.
While both teams are comprised mainly of freshmen and sophomores, the men’s freshmen team has already been ranked number one freshman team in the nation and the women’s team ranked 22nd. Overall, the men’s team is ranked 32nd and the women’s team is ranked 33rd in the nation. Coach Kim Haddow said, “I was expecting the teams to do well but I had no idea that they would do this well!”
With years of coaching experience between both Mike and Kim Haddow, they attracted many students to Embry-Riddle that were looking for a good balance between an academically strong school and one with a great golf program. In addition several upperclassmen were thrilled to have a golf team starting up.
Trying something new, Kim Haddow now coaches co-ed practices. The results of this can clearly be seen in their performance but also in the team dynamics. Best summed up by Tyler Harrison, “These teams are like family to us; we all have a great time and support each other.”
In addition to great coaches, the teams currently have access to two golf courses on which to practice on. While no shot or hole is ever played the same way, it is good practice to have some variety in the holes.
While everyone on the team has different reasons for starting golf, ranging from “my dad started me off at 10” to junior golf programs and even for business, it is clear that they all love to golf. “With spectacular coaches and strong academics, plus the great weather Embry-Riddle was the perfect choice,” said Kelly Feng. “A perfect balance of golf and school,” said Kale Davidson.
The biggest surprise this semester has been freshman Ellen Springs. No one could have predicted Ellen hitting not just one but two hole-in-ones this past season. Currently in the Global Security and Intelligence Studies program, the only way Ellen could describe her semester here at Embry-Riddle was “exciting and unexpected.” Springs “loves the individuality of golf, but the team is very close like family. The academic studies here are pretty much the same too.” The men’s team left a few days ago to San Diego where they competed in the 13th Annual CSUSM Cougar Invite against at least 17 other schools. “This is part of why golf is hard, because you always have large numbers of competitors. But it is a good challenge for them and great way to start off the semester,” said Coach Kim Haddow. While the women’s next competition is not until Feb. 24, they are looking forward to a great finishing season.
Both golf teams have clearly made a name for themselves these first two years and are expected to become one of the top collegiate golf teams in the country.