Play Your Own Game



I stepped up to the white tee blocks with a cobra blue driver in my right hand and a ball and tee in my left. I looked down the 345 yard fairway that was glistening with dew and went through my shot routine: pick a level spot on the blocks, picture the ball going exactly where I want it, and take a swing. This is a typical routine for any golfer, but I can’t speak for all golfers. Men in the Cascade Collegiate Conference don’t play from the white tee blocks they play from the blue tee blocks and their routine may be a little different.

A little bit of a background, my name is Tierra Davis and I am on the Women’s golf team, currently a red shirt for the 2014-2015 season. I have had my fair share of competing in tournaments and matches in the world of golf and a quote from my grandpa has gotten me through all of them, “You can’t win the game, you just have to play it.” It’s what I say to myself before I start the round and throughout, but that depends on the day. I said something similar to this in an email I sent to my teammates, “Play your own game out there and have fun!” Our men’s team competed individually for spring season, which motivated them to work hard on their game. A unique season for us all!

Jack Hackman a sophomore from Portland, OR, is a two sport athlete here at NCU, playing not only golf, but also basketball. He didn’t play competitive golf in high school, like most of the men on the team, his experience was gained by playing for fun. Jack finished his season in the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championship with 273 putting him in 27th, way to take his first season by the horns!

“Because of my situation, my expectations were really low going into the season. I was just excited to play more golf and get a chance to play some cool courses for free. My expectations were surpassed in my very first tournament, when I shot a 100 in my first ever competitive round and then shot 85 in the next round. That 15 stroke improvement in the same day was really encouraging and definitely a highlight of the season. Other highlights included shooting my career best of 83 at our tournament in Portland with the legend, Tyler Falk, as our assistant coach, chipping in for birdie a few times, and all the other great shots I hit. I tried to have a positive, calming attitude, and I believe that that was fostered by the comradery and laid back approach of our team. Even though we were undermanned and didn’t play our best at times, Coach Jeff Gaskill did a great job of encouraging us and keeping us with a smile on our face. I’d really like to thank him for helping me progress with my game, and I can’t wait to see how much better I get in the future.”

 –Jack Hackman

            Austin Dame, a sophomore from Harrisburg, OR, is playing his first year of competitive golf, as well as Jack Hackman. Dame gained experience by playing rounds of golf with friends and family. Driven by determination and love for the game, he put in a lot of work to be the golfer he is today. Austin finished his season in the CCC Championships with an overall score of 240 placing him 20th, what a great end to his season!

“My expectations at the start of the fall season was to shoot a score in the 70’s. This was my goal and it was not met during the fall season. However, come the spring season I was able to PR twice at the same tournament shooting 78, then 77. I met this goal by doing a few things, the first being a lot of practice and learning how to think my way around a golf course. I saw that my game got better the smarter I became on a golf course. Next, I went into this round not worrying about my results. I kept a clear mind and knew if I played to my potential that I will put up the scores I know I can. Some of the most memorable high lights of the season would be playing at Pumpkin Ridge, the 17th hole was a 300 yard par 4. I was going to take the smart play and hit iron off the tee box, but I heard that my fellow teammate Jack Hackman was giving me some playful tease that I couldn’t hit driver on the hole, once I heard this I pulled driver, flew the ball 300 yards and walked away with Birdie. The other great highlights are the constant laughs we have on the golf team. We have a great coach who always keeps things light, but he also expects a lot out of us. With his help I was able to improve my game and become more competitive.”

–Austin Dame

            Sam Mar, a sophomore from Eugene, OR, has played competitive golf since he was a junior league golfer. He played all four years in high and made it his goal to play collegiate golf. Joining the NCU men’s golf team his freshman year a great impact on the team’s average. Mar finished his season in the CCC Championships with a score of 245 placing him in 23rd,way to go!

“My own personal goals for this season were to have a scoring average under 74, and I nearly achieved it with my scoring average this season being 74.4. I broke our record this year, scoring even or under par 4 times, something I only did twice last year. That will continue to be one of my main goals, scoring under par. Shooting 65 in the second round at Centennial during the fall season was definitely the highlight of my season. It  was the best personal round I had ever played by 1 shot, and the best competitive round I ever put together by 4 shots.”

 –Sam Mar

NCU Men’s Golf finished up the season at the Cascade Collegiate Conference Championship hosted by Warner Pacific at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course. Austin Dame led the Beacons to a final score of 240 for 20th, Sam Mar with a final score of 245 for 23rd, and Jack Hackman with a final score of 273 for 27th.

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