Hitting the greens with the Bruins men’s golf team


The Bruins men’s golf team has expanded and improved this year. Photo: Photo Services

The golf team has progressed greatly since its inception last year. Starting as a four-man squad in 2013, it has now developed into a seven-man team that has grown not only in size, but also in ability.

This year’s team is composed of the original four members along with the three new players. Blake Counts, Micah Gold, Kyle James and Clay Wiginton are enjoying their second season on the golf team, and freshmen Jeremiah Heath, Matt Shannon and John Smoker, although new to the team, bring added depth that last year’s squad lacked.

The members of the team represent a wide range in age and area of study. All of the team members bring unique backgrounds and skills to the Bruins golf squad, but they each agree on one thing: the team is only as strong as the individual effort put forth.

With only four players last year, the team lacked depth and that vital fifth man for tournaments.

This season, the addition of three freshmen brings not just that fifth man, but future talent for upcoming years. For each tournament, Gold, Wiginton and James have a guaranteed spot to play, but the other two spots are open to change for each tournament.

The other four players must bring their best game to each practice and compete for one of those positions. This encourages a healthy rivalry and drives the individual teammates to put forth their best effort.

Recently, the golf team swept the podium at the Hiwassee College Invitational. Beating out every other competitor, the team also nearly beat its personal goal of scoring under 300. With a collective score of 301, the Bruins men’s golf team marked its best tournament score ever. This achievement, after only two years, is a sign of a healthy and improving golf program.

The team hopes to ride this wave of success to the NCCAA South Regional Tournament this week in Easley. Won by Southern Wesleyan last year, the Bruins will face intense competition as the best schools in the league converge to jockey for a spot in the national tournament.

Regarding the tournament, Wiginton remarked, “This week is definitely our biggest week as a golf team. It’s the one we’ve been building up to all semester, and we have a good chance to go out and play our best golf ever. Individually, we’re going to have to put together our best rounds to date, and we will see what happens.”

The team is excited about its chances in regionals this week and hopes to continue to represent BJU in the national tournament as well.