By SYDNEY SULLIVAN
Playing a sport at an esteemed college may sound nerve-racking, but it a dream come true to some talented competitors.
Kennesaw State’s Austin Vick and Jimmy Beck, seniors on the college’s golf team, reflect on what it is like to compete on the team this 2014-2015 season.
With Vick from Augusta, Ga. and Beck from Columbus, Ga., they have each had some previous experience on the course. Both qualified for the U.S. Amateur, Vick has played in the U.S Junior Amateur while Beck won the Georgia State Amateur in 2013. The experience these athletes have had has helped contribute to the golf team’s success during their time at Kennesaw State.
The KSU golf team recently competed on Dufuskee Island’s Rees Cup Intercollegiate. This marks four out of five years that the Kennesaw State Golf Team has won this tournament.
What is next for the golf team? October 4-5, the golf team competed against many other teams in Connecticut at the MacDonald Cup.
“I believe we will do very well at the MacDonald Cup,” said Vick. “We are the highest ranked team in the field right now and we are coming off of a win, so we have more confidence to compete to our full potential.”
“We are a strong team and hopefully that will show and we can win by a lot,” said Beck.
Though the team had high hopes for a winning spot in the MacDonald Cup, they came in third place overall.
Throughout the upcoming golf season, there is great potential for the team to do very well.
In October, Kennesaw is hosting the Pinetree Intercollegiate.
With the home advantage, the team hopes to win the tournament for the third year in a row. Beck and Vick said they hope they will get a lot of fans at the tournament this year to support them because it helps get their adrenaline going to play strong.
If the team wants to achieve their goal of winning the National Championship this year, each player must have their personal goals in line.
Beck and Vick say they need to work on consistency and having a positive attitude will only enhance what the season holds for the seniors and the rest of the team.
Not only are Vick and Beck good on the greens, but they also excel in the classroom. Both seniors have managed to maintain above a 3.5 GPA all four years and both are majoring in finance at KSU.
“I try and stay on top of my schoolwork while I am at tournaments,” said Vick. “I try to fit in time each night to study and focus on the things I need to get done.”
During golf season, the team travels on weekends, practices nearly every day, has weekly workouts, and still must attend class.
To add to the packed agenda, the golf team is also involved in community service and each teammate puts their best foot forward in order to help the community.
“If we want people to support the golf team, we have to be willing to show the community we want to help and support them too,” said Vick. “It is such a good feeling to help others and be a part of the community in which I go to school in.”
The team’s biggest new addition is the Mercedes van. It can hold up to seven people and is fully equipped with Wi-Fi, satellite TV, reclining seats and studio sound system. Vick says the van is much better to travel in and is equipped with everything they need to keep up with their schoolwork.
The van helps for those long rides to and from tournaments and is much more spacious than in previous years.
“It’s a great asset to the team,” said Beck.
Like most athletes, everyone has his or her own rituals. Beck says he can only use a nickel to mark his ball and Vick can only use a quarter. Whether or not each ritual has an effect on the game is left up to the player’s personal superstition.
Beck and Vick show that even though every athlete has his or her bad days, each situation can be overcome and the individual can grow stronger.
Playing for 14 years won’t stop these athletes and scholars. Even though this is Beck and Vick’s last season, they hope golf will still be a part of their lives, whether it’s playing professionally or just playing for fun. The game has become a huge part of their lives and it has shown on the course.