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Where I Go From Here

I’ve really enjoyed blogging over the last few weeks. It’s been a lot fun to look back on the places golf has taken me and the experiences I have had the last few years. I’ll probably take a break from blogging for a little bit but I’m going to try to pick it back up again when the season gets closer. It would be fun to document and talk about more of the places I go to over the next year. It would be cool to have a journal to look back on when my playing days are done because it’s hard to appreciate everything right now. I will really appreciate and look back fondly on the experience I have had after its done. Hopefully this blog will be something I can look back on.

From a golfing standpoint, I’m taking it day by day. I have individual and team goals I want to accomplish next year. Hopefully if I continue to work hard, all the time I put in will pay off. It’s highly unlikely that a professional career is in my future but if I have an amazing senior year you never know…

Cheers,

Matt

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

My Biggest Fan

A lot of my success and perseverance in golf can be attributed to the person who first introduced me to the game, my mom (awww). But really, she is my biggest fan and has been with me through all the ups and downs.She’s seen me shoot 68 and 95. She’s is a very good player who’s played golf all her life. She started following me at tournaments when I was 12 and is still following me today. This past year she made a trip to Florida, Louisiana, Chicago, and Indiana to watch me play. She’s gone out Washington with me and even driven me to Philadelphia to play in a junior tournament.

It’s funny, I know when she gets mad at me when she’s watching. When I make a dumb mistake or decision I know that she’s talking to herself and wondering why I did that. Then after the round she’ll call me and go through every hole and ask me what I was thinking on certain shots. She’s followed me when I’ve been in some pretty high pressure situations and sometimes she can’t even watch because she gets so nervous. I remember this one time I was on the seventeeth hole of a tournament and I had a 4 foot par putt. As I was lining it up I could see my mom out of the corner of my eye and she was turned away! She couldn’t even watch. I know she loves every minute of it though.

Me, my mom, and my bro in Seattle, WA

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Playing Team Golf

There were a lot of adjustments to playing college golf but the biggest was getting used to playing TEAM golf again. After high school I had only played in summer tournaments where I played for myself. I played to test myself and see how good I was. If I played poorly I would just be disappointed in myself and my performance didn’t effect anyone else. But this year it was different. I was playing as a part of a team. I had two coaches watching me. If I played bad I would feel like I let down not only myself but also the team. And if I played well and the team played poorly it would be bittersweet. It’s weird playing the most individual of all sports in a team environment.

However there are aspects of the team that make golf more fun. You have guys to hang out with during tournaments and guys who can pick you up if you play bad. And in the end it’s much more rewarding if both I play well and the team plays well.

I learned how to be a better teammate over the course of the year that’s for sure. It’s easy to get down on yourself and be in a bad mood if you play bad but you realize that this can also bring down the mood of the whole team. I learned that it’s important to pick up guys when they play poorly and if I play poorly, not worry about it as much and focus on the team. It’s also important to always encourage guys to practice harder. It can give you more motivation when you’re practicing to know that you are working hard for the other guys too.

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tournament Weekend Schedule

I get asked a lot about the schedule for college golf. We actually don’t play matches, our whole schedule is three-day tournaments. This year we are going to play 5 tournaments in the fall and 6 in the spring. Here’s the normal schedule for tournaments.

Thursday afternoon/night – Fly to tournament. If the tournament is in the Midwest we might drive and if we drive we’ll take a charted bus.

Friday – Practice round. Normally in the morning but we always have a team workout and breakfast around 8am regardless. The practice rounds normally take around 5 and a half hours because we play in five-somes and everyone takes a lot of practice shots around the greens.

Saturday – First two rounds. We’re normally up around 6 and tee off at 8am. The rounds take at least 5 hours so we don’t get off the course until just before dark. It’s a long day.

Sunday – After playing 36 the day before we’re normally up at 6am again and we play the final round. The last round is always the hardest because you’re exhausted from the day before. After the round it’s off to the airport and by time I get back to my house in Ann Arbor it’s normally really late.

After the long weekends, let’s just say I didn’t go to very many of my Monday morning classes…

 

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

NCAA Rules You Might Not Know…..

Before this year I had no idea there were so many NCAA rules! Everything is monitored by the university so that we don’t break any rules and along the way I’ve learned about some pretty interesting ones…

1.  In our work out room they have bagels for us. However, they are not allowed to give us cream cheese for our bagels because it’s considered an “extra benefit”. This makes no sense because they also give us Muscle Milk, Gatorade and Clif bars but cream cheese is an extra benefit. Dumb rule.

2. Each university must have an equal number of men’s and women’s scholarships. It’s called Title 9. Since a large university like Michigan has about 70 men’s football scholarships , these must be offset by women’s scholarships. Therefore, most of the women’s athletes are on full rides, while the men in non-revenue sports rarely get full rides.

3.  When we are at a tournament or on the road, we either eat as a team and the coach pays the bill with the athletic department credit card or he give each of us a “per Diem” of $20. I like this one because you never spend the $20 bucks on a meal so we actually all make some money when we get a few per Diems. When the coach pays the bill there’s pretty much no spending limit so we always order way too much food.

4. This may seem obvious but student athletes are not allowed to gamble in any form or fashion. I’m technically not even allowed to participate in fantasy sports leagues where there is an entry fee. It’s very difficult to monitor this activity but still, it’s a rule. If football or basketball players are found to be betting on their own games they will be permanently suspended from NCAA competition.

5. A student-athlete cannot accept anything from an employee of U of M or a Michigan athletics booster (e.g., use of a car, clothing, gifts, money, tickets for any kind of entertainment, payment of long distance telephone calls).

With all the NCAA rules in place, especially those aimed mostly at football and basketball. It’s interesting to consider whether or not student-athletes should get paid. I think they should, but that’s a topic coming in a future post.

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Golfers Work Out Too!

Before this year, whenever I wanted to work out I would go to the CCRB, which was always super crowded. And then when I got there I would just do whatever exercise I felt like without a plan. That all changed this year.

Now I work out here… and this is only a third of it!

The golf teams here share strength and conditioning coaches with the basketball teams so this year when the athletic department built a brand new weight room and training facility for the basketball teams that became our brand new weight and training facility too! The new facility is state-of-the-art.

During the season we work out 2-3 times a week, but during the off-season we worked out 5 days a week (3 weight training days and 2 cardio days). We do all the same heavy lifting  exercises as the basketball team (bench press, squats, etc…) but we do a little more stretching and flexibility exercises. We have two strength and conditioning coaches who conduct our workouts and create our work-out plans.It was unbelievable how much stronger I was able to get this year with the help of a strength program and how much it helped my golf game. I was able to hit it a lot farther not just from the weight training but also because I’ve improved my flexibility.

A lot of times when we’re in there the basketball players will be working out too and it’s funny because a lot of them always ask us for tips to help their golf games.  In the weight room there’s Muscle Milk protein shakes, chocolate milk, Clif bars, Gatorade and fresh bagels. Obviously it’s mostly for the basketball team but we can have whatever we want when we go in there.

The team getting a “cardio” workout in on the practice basketball courts

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Puerto Rico and Midterms Week

This spring we went to Puerto Rico for a tournament. We left Ann Arbor on a Friday night and came back Tuesday night. Well, that Wednesday I had two midterms and on Thursday I had an economics midterm. In Puerto Rico we stayed at the Rio Mar Resort (pictured below) which was not the best environment for studying especially when it was 60 degrees warmer there at the time than in Ann Arbor.

How was I supposed to study here?!?

It was a three day tournament so we would play in the morning and then all the teams would go to the beach and the pools in the afternoon. There were some brutal farmer’s tans out there. Anyways, I only got like two hours of studying done total on the trip and as a result my exams didn’t go very well. I studied the night before for them. On my Latin American film midterm the teacher wrote “We need to talk” on my exam. That’s never good. When I went to talk to her, it turned out that she was from Puerto Rico so she gave me a break! Small world. As the semester went on I learned to plan ahead a little better and ended up making up for a couple bad exams.

The team during our practice round with an alumni.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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