The University of New Hampshire (UNH) Club Golf team finished 25th at the National Collegiate Club Golf Association Fall 2019 tournament in Oklahoma from Nov. 15 to 17 after a successful 23-1 season.
Captain and club president Marshall Halpin said the experience with Nationals was “incredible.” The tournament had a “much more serious vibe” than previous tournaments “for a good reason” – that reason being club golf is just as competitive as Division 2 or 3, according to Halpin.
“This Nationals really meant a lot to all of us,” Halpin added.
This fal’s tournament, Halpin’s third Nationals experience, took place in Oklahoma for the first time at Winstar Golf Club. Halpin said it was a better and more organized experience than his previous tournaments in Arkansas and Las Vegas.
First-year student Nicholas Aspromonti said the team performed well and bounced back from a tough start, ending with 380, taking 17 strokes off the previous day and setting their season low for a strokes.
Halpin said that they got off to a rocky start on day one with tough wind conditions and a tough course and they didn’t play as well as they liked; however, the team is proud of their improvement on day two.
The strong 23-1 season was a “huge turnaround” from last fall according to Halpin, who said at this point last year the team had a losing record in the region. In a division consisting of teams like Northeastern, Boston University and UMass Lowell, their only loss on the season was to the fifth ranked team in the country, Providence College, Halpin said.
Aspromonti said that they weren’t sure how they’d perform at first, but quickly realized they were good after winning their first regional tournament by beating regional rivals by “many strokes” and went on to win another and secure a spot in Nationals.
Both Aspromonti and another new member of the team, first-year student Logan Slattery, attributed the team’s success to leadership from the captains. Slattery said “the captains put on a great season,” and credited the leadership of Maxx Anderson, Marshall Halpin and Matt Hall. Aspromonti said thanks to their “great captainship,” he felt like part of the team right away.
Slattery said his favorite story from the past season was “Joey Desimone being a much better golfer than me (as he shot the low on the team for Nationals) but unable to beat me whenever money is on the line.”
Hopes are high for the club golf program that will “continue to grow from here,” Slattery said. They are “extremely optimistic” looking forward to the spring season, according to Halpin, and they feel it is expected to reach Nationals again after the performance in the fall. Halpin said they have turned the program around thanks to their “great young talent.”
Halpin and UNH Club Golf said they’re excited for the future of the program.
“Time to keep raising the bar to make sure this type of success stays with the team for years to come,” he said.