01 Jun College Golf in the US – The life as a student-athlete
Henry Ost shares his college golf experience in the US as a Freshman at Flagler College in Florida.
My name is Henry Ost, and I am from Hannover in Germany. I have been playing golf since I was 13. Since August 2020, I am a Freshman at Flagler College in Saint Augustine, Florida. I became a uniexperts Ambassador this spring, which means that I will give you some insights into my life as a college golfer here at Flagler College.
Why did I decide to play college golf in the first place?
The majority of professional golfers on the PGA Tour first went to a college here in the United States. The best example of that could be Tiger Woods, who played for Stanford as an amateur. College Golf gives you the unique possibility to combine your sport with your education, making it so interesting for many young athletes like me. Furthermore, I liked the idea of studying in a foreign country, learning English, and having incredible life experiences meeting new friends from all around the world.
How does a typical day of a college golf player look like?
Since it’s my first year right now, I’m living on campus in a college dorm. Living in dorms on campus is a great way to meet new people in your first year. My regular weekdays start with a gym or stretching session in the early mornings. We have workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays, cardio on Mondays, and Stretching/Yoga on Fridays at 6:30 am. After the exercises, I typically go back to my room to get a quick shower and get ready for my day. Before my first classes start around 9 am, I usually get some breakfast in our beautiful Dining Hall, which used to be the hotel restaurant. My classes mostly finish at midday, and then, I like to meet friends for lunch before doing some homework.
At 1:20 pm, we drive to practice, which generally lasts until 5-6 pm. Our practice often starts with some short game challenges, and later we can decide if we want to keep practicing or go out to the course to play a couple of holes. Afterward, we go to the dining hall again for dinner. Our dining hall always offers us various meals, and especially as an athlete, you will always find something healthy and tasty here. As a student-athlete, your evenings are often packed with assignments, essays, or studying. I like to go to the library since I can concentrate better and still meet some friends there. After my homework, I try to go to sleep to be ready for my next day.
Quick facts about Flagler College and the golf program:
Flagler College is located in the historic town of St. Augustine on the East coast of Florida, just 40 minutes from Jacksonville and 2 hours from Orlando. Our school was founded in 1968 and is a private college with 2,574 students. Flagler College is ranked number 4 in US News‘ Regional Colleges South ranking. We are an NCAA Division 2 program competing in 11 different sports as a member of the Peach Belt Conference. Probably the most significant part of being a student at Flagler is that our campus features a pool and is only 10 minutes from the beach, which comes in handy when you have to stand these humid Florida summers.
Unfortunately, we haven’t had the success we wished for this year, which leads to our men’s program being ranked at 43. In the past, our team was able to win our conference three times since 2010, and our long-term goal is to compete for national championships. At the moment, we have a team of 10 guys from 5 different countries, which is an excellent part of the golf team here, since you learn a lot about other cultures.
How would you describe your practice and facilities at the university?
Primarily we practice and play at the Palencia Club that is located 15 minutes away from campus. Here we have incredible practice facilities and a course that is in fantastic condition all year. The golf course constantly challenges each player during practice since it has some long and many relatively tight holes. If we want to mix up our routine a bit, we play at the Slammer and Squire course, which is located at the World Golf Village or the St. Johns County Club. Both courses are typical courses for Florida, with a lot of water, but also wider fairways. Practicing at different courses helps you prepare your game for future competitions and exercise your understanding of course management. Generally, we have access to the Palencia Club every day except Mondays. On these days, we either practice at St. Johns County Club or the World Golf Village.
Do you have access to athletic trainers and the gym?
Yes, we have a gym that is only used by student-athletes and one that every Flagler student can use. It gives us the chance to work out whenever we want, although this is hard during the week because we already have two workouts and one cardio session mandatory with our team. One of the most incredible things about being a student-athlete in the USA is that you can get treatments and appointments with the College’s physical trainers whenever you have particular struggles or injuries.
I was struggling with a knee injury in the past few months, and this offer has helped me enormously to overcome my injury. Of course, you can also meet with the trainers when you are sore and do massages, ice baths, or get ready for your game (compression together with cooling). All this helps to prevent injuries and remain fit throughout the season.
Looking back on my first year at Flagler:
Coming to the USA was definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made. It is great to play golf throughout the whole year and combine my favorite sport with studying Business and Finance. As a student-athlete, I met many great and friendly people. These people make Flagler a second home to me that I do not want to leave soon. I recommend every athlete to take the chance of studying in the United States as it will make you not only a better athlete but also a better person.
If you are interested to play College Golf, and want to more about studying in the USA, just fill out the free assesment and talk to one of our golf specialists at uniexperts.