By Joshua Ladd and Sydney Herlan
Special to NFP
Niagara University introduced the club golf team to campus in the spring of 2015. It became the 18th club sport at the university. As of the 2016 spring semester, there are 16 members on the team. The club golf team is one of the few co-ed sports on campus inviting male and female students to join.
Like any other club at Niagara University, there are dues, which must be paid. It is only $50 each year, including both semesters, to become a part of the club golf team. Within the payment of dues, team members are guaranteed 18-hole practice rounds throughout the year as well as official Niagara University club golf apparel.
"The price of dues is well worth it. We get apparel, practice rounds and get to visit private country clubs," said Tyler Ladd, an active member of the team.
Becoming a member does not automatically guarantee one a spot to play in all of the tournaments. Every member is allowed to participate in the practice rounds on a weekly basis. However, practice time is always dependent on the weather conditions, so there is no set amount of how many practices will take place throughout the year.
Each semester, the team travels as far as Syracuse to participate in at least two tournaments. The elite members of the team are those who are eligible to participate in the tournaments the team plays in. There is no possible way everyone can play in the tournaments, as there would be far too many people, which would drag out the tournaments.
Currently, Niagara University is ranked 90th among 210 teams in the National Collegiate Club Golf Association. This season, the team's record is 1-3. They are a part of the Northeastern Region and are the second place regional leaders with 7 points. The team competes against many locale schools, such as The State University of New York at Cortland, University at Buffalo and St. Bonaventure University.
Since the team is so new to the campus community, its primary focus is informing the campus about the team, as well as getting more students to participate. The tournament wins and competitive nature will come about as a result of the team's expansion, which will is expected to come about in the near future.
"You don't have to be good at golf to play. It's just a great time to get out and play golf with friends," said Bryan O'Neill, a member of the team.
Any student from Niagara University is allowed to be a part of the club golf team. There are many benefits in becoming a member. Students are able play golf with fellow students and have a great time with or without the pressure of competing at a league tournament.
There is more to Niagara University Club Golf than just simply enjoying the sport of golf. Golf is a game of leisure; used by most to unwind and enjoy some time outdoors doing something fun with others. This club promotes companionship and tries to bring members of the team closer together each and every time members step foot on the courses.
The club is also sensible. "If you just want to go out and play a few rounds of 18 with your friends, this is the cheapest way to do it. You do not have to play in any tournaments if you choose not to. The dues are well worth the good times that you will have on the course," Tyler said.
For more information about the club golf team, contact John Spanbauer, NU's director of recreation, intramural and club sports, at 716-286-8055 or by email at [email protected].
NCCGA team rankings:
NCCGA Niagara University team:
Niagara University club sports (golf):