Some 30 years ago, the University at Buffalo abandoned a number of varsity sports at the beginning of its ascent of the division I-A mountain. One of the victims of the purge was varsity golf. In 2012, UB will field a club golf team for the first time. Buoyed by a slate of officers including President: Zachary Barkin, Vice President: Jeff Melomo, Secretary: Patrick O’Byrne and Treasurer: Ryan Grace, the club has a firm goal sequence and thorough plans for the new season. BuffaloGolfer had a chance in December to pose ten questions to Andy Burns, member of the team. His answers are below.
1) Describe the steps it took to get clearance for a UB club golf team.
We first had to show a sense of interest from the school by receiving signatures from fellow students. We now have over 40 interested and wanting to compete. Also, we had to come up with a team Constitution and prove threw vigorous work, meetings, and conversations with Students Affairs that we were serious about this. It was actually a very long a tedious process. If you would like more specifics, I can refer you to the team president who would be able to explain this in detail.
2)Who makes up the roster of the UB club golf team?
There is not a who as of now. Right now for our team, like other club teams at UB, is run and set up by a group of leading members. We will not have cuts or anything of that matter. Anyone who wants to come practice and is willing to pay for it is more than welcome. For the league play and matches however, only 8 men are allowed to play. We have nothing set in stone yet, but our plan is, as of now, to send our top 8 players based on averages from practices and matches that we plan to keep on record. Attendance at practice and meeting is also factored into our decision making. With this process we think that our best and most deticated 8 players will be in the matches.
3)Are there any prohibitions as to who may or may not play? Is it an open club or a selective one?
Everyone is welcome to play and practice in the club. We encourage anyone that wants to join to do so, but only the top 8 will be playing in competitive matches.
4)We assume that you have a coach of some sort…who is it? Could you detail her/his experience?
We actually do not have a coach as of now. But then again not many clubs do. Finding a coach is definitely on our list of things to do though. We have spoke to a few and have an ongoing relationship with them and hope that one will be interested and willing to coach our team.
5)Have you lined up practice facilities/course(s) for the coming season?
We have already talked with the Chevrolet Paddock indoor golf dome and plan to have 2 practices a week there starting next semester. They were very interested in helping out and were able to give us a fairly good deal. We have also been talking to many courses and a lot of them were able to give a quoted discount for our team to practice and play there. The course we are most interested in as of now is Diamond Hawk Golf Course, but we are continuing to talk to others.
6)What sorts of competition will the UB club golf team enter? Give us your season schedule if you can.
The only tournaments that we are in for sure in the spring are two Qualifying tournaments hosted by the National College Club Golf Association. Unfortunately they have not yet posted dates for these qualifying tournaments. There website is www.nccga.org if you have further questions about the league. We plan to speak with other teams in our division as well as locally to try and set up other tournaments and matches.
7)Since the team does not have university financial backing for 2011, what provisions has it made to offset expenses like uniforms, equipment, travel and entry fees?
Since our first official season will be next spring, we have not really faced any financial speed bumps yet. Up until now, we have had a few events such as Halloween Tournament and other small things like that where team members would just pay full price at the venue. As for travel expenses, uniforms, hotels for trips, green fees for tournaments, etc., we are trying to set up fundraising event. For example, we have a euchre tournament planned for the whole school to participate in. We have also been collecting alot of bottles and cans. Our goal is to do as much fundraising as possible to keep the team members from paying too much “out of pocket’. We are worried that the high dues that the team members will be forced to pay might deter some players that would possibly be in the top 8. And the last thing we want is to not produce the best competing 8 players that UB has to offer.
8)Will the club golf team have any league affiliation this season or in the future?
Yes, we have already been accepted by then NCCGA (National College Club Golf Association) and will be competing for a National Championship with the best club teams in the nation come spring. We have been placed in the Northeast division with some fairly big name schools that we are excited to compete against. All of this information can be found on the NCCGA website.
9)Is the ultimate goal to achieve varsity status, or will that be a “one step at a time” situation?
We would all love for this club team to become a Division 1 Varsity Team one day. But we must first prove ourselves to be a highly competitive club team first. Which I think we will be.
10. What question have we failed to ask, that you really wish we would have asked? Ask it and answer it now.
What was the motivation behind starting this club team? When my friends an I sat down and thought about it we realized that UB has every potential to be a powerhouse in the collegiate golf world. Also, alot of us just missed being competitive on the course would like to put our talent to use. This team is very important to us since we have built it from the ground up. We have put alot of time and effort into it and plan to be serious about this and prove to the nation that we can compete. We are excited to see where this can go and if one day we can be national champions.
We appreciate you taking the time to talk with us and hope for better things to come. I hope these answers were able to help you understand what we’ve done and what we plan to do. If you have any more question please check out our website.