The men’s and women’s golf teams are training hard for physical and mental strength as they begin their 2021 season.
Coach Dennis Scott, faculty member in the Division of Exercise and Sports Science and head golf coach, said the teams travel off-campus to Green Valley Country Club for five- to six-hour practices at least three times a week. Because the team has to take advantage of days with good weather, they must keep flexible schedules with weather changes.
Coach Scott said, “The physical commitment some people perceive as not as intense, but the time demand is intense.” Kate Matthews, a junior sports management major, said she sees physical exertion as an important part of the game because the sport requires a strong core and thigh strength.
Matthews said the teams lift weights in practice and in a game carry the golf bag for around six miles, sometimes uphill. Matthews said players must have endurance for the last six holes, so their coach requires the teams to run two miles a week. “When I [run], I feel like on the last six holes . . . I finish stronger,” Matthews said.
Scott said, “What you do in between shots is really important for the effectiveness of your next shot.” Scott said golf rounds average five hours. Executing shots takes around 20 minutes, with over four hours for thinking, strategizing and talking with teammates and opponents.
Golf is unique in the fact that it is a conversational and relational sport. Scott said, “A lot of our players from time to time will ask ‘tell me what your experience is like at Bob Jones [University].’” The Bruin golfers have the opportunity to share about Bob Jones University or share the Gospel between holes.
Elise Snow, a junior Spanish major and Bruins golf player, said, “A lot of the older guys come up to me because it’s really interesting to them that a 20-year-old girl is playing golf…because it’s mostly a guy sport.” They will ask her what university she attends. Snow said, “We’ll just talk about the Lord and about why we do what we do…and just represent the University and the Lord well.”
“When things look rough, keep going and figure it out.” -Elise Snow
Snow said she has come a long way since the beginning of her game. She came into the season after playing golf for one summer with her dad. “If I can go from [a score of] like 170 to being ready to break 100 in about six to nine months’ time, somebody else can too.”
Snow said she wishes more women would join the team. The financial risk is low because the school provides the clubs and wants to teach students the game. “[Golf] teaches you so much about determination, to stick something out,” Snow said. “When things look rough, keep going and figure it out.”
Scott said the team philosophy is built around redeeming the phrase “2020 vision” as an acronym. “2020 [was] obviously the year that has presented the challenge to all of us, and the word vision…represents to us as a team what real victory means,” Scott said. “Vision stands for ‘Victory Is Secured In Overcoming Negativity.’” Scott said the only way to overcome negativity—from the effects of a bad virus to the bad weather or a bad shot—is to remember God is in control.
Scott said, “Coaching has always been about mentoring and disciplining using the tool of sports.” Scott has been coaching for a total of 40 years, basketball for 27 years and golf for 18 years and cross-country during that time.
Scott started the golf program at BJU while writing his doctoral dissertation. Now that he has completed his doctorate, he teaches full-time as a faculty member in Health and Exercise Science and Sports Management Studies.