This past weekend in West Lafayette, Indiana, at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex, the National Collegiate College Golf Association (NCCGA) hosted their spring nationals, which is the largest college golf tournament in the country.
The championship featured over 300 players from 39 teams and 22 individuals from a combined 55 schools, representing 29 states. According to Kris Hart, Senior Director of Nexgengolf, “Purdue is a unique and special venue because of the quality of the course, as well as the history; our 2013 (and my first championship) was hosted here.”
Coordinating a championship for over 300 players takes a lot of work and a fantastic staff. To remind readers, unlike NCAA golf, the format in NCCGA is eight count five (eight players per team compete with the low five rounds counting towards a team score). Readers should also know club golf is not intramurals and these student-athletes are pretty darn good. Students like Joey Jordan from Virginia Tech have walked on to their varsity golf team due to their strong club golf performance.
Heading into the tournament, the best-ranked team participating was from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, with a scoring average of 72.9 followed by Arizona State (73.85 average), Florida (74.26 Average), Providence (73.55 average) and Arkansas (75.45 average) rounding out the top 5. Like the NCAA, the tournament also features an individual competition. The top five players in the NCCGA this spring include:
|PLAYER NAME||TEAM NAME||AVG SCORE PER ROUND||AVG DIFF PER ROUND|
|Anthony Banks||University of Arizona||69||-2.69|
|Nick Bavaro||DePaul University (B)||69.5||-2.48|
|Timothy Davis||The University of Tennessee||69.5||-1.47|
|Charles Kim||University of Arkansas (A)||71.5||-1.03|
The action at Nationals did not disappoint as Clemson University came back from a first-round deficit to edge out the University of Notre Dame by four shots (team scores of 750 and 754 respectively). Even with the tough Saturday weather conditions, Andrew Stineman of Notre Dame was still able to fire an impressive two-day score of one under par (68-75 – 143) to take home medalist honors. Payte Owen from the University of Oklahoma made it interesting on day two, but fell short by one, carding an even-par 144.
Prior to Nationals, the parent company of NCCGA, Nextgengolf announced its acquisition by the Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA).
According to Arjun Chowdri from the PGA of America, “Nextgengolf provides authentic experiences that speak to the next generation of golfers.”
This partnership demands attention because it speaks volume about the future of college golf and opportunities for boys and girls to play in college. The NCCGA provides a unique opportunity for players who might otherwise not maturate to varsity college golf to continue playing the game they love. With the PGA and 29,000 golf professionals helping grow college golf, I am eager to watch the next chapter for college golf unfold and am confident it is going to be pretty special.
To learn more about the history of club golf and some further data behind the story, check out my article I wrote back in February 2018 titled, Why you should consider playing club golf in college.
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WOTW: Viktor Hovland’s Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver in Khaki Green
Viktor Hovland successfully defended his Hero World Challenge title this weekend. Hovland fired a final round 69, giving him a 2 stroke win over Scottie Scheffler. After the round, Victor received his trophy from Tiger Woods and on his wrist was a green Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver.
Name: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver
Date: 2021 – Present
Case: Stainless Steel
Bezel: Stainless Steel
Dial: Khaki Green “Méga Tapisserie”
Movement: Calibre 4308, 32 Jewels
Power Reserve: 60 Hours
Glass: Saphire Crystal
Waterproof: 300 Meters
Bracelet: Khaki Green Rubber Strap
Price: $29,000 (~$35,000)
Audemars Piguet has been making the Royal Oak Offshore line of watches since 1992 as the larger and more capable version of the iconic Royal Oak. The larger cases, bezels, and straps give the Offshore a stronger look and stand out more on the wrist. The Offshore Diver line was introduced in 2010 and was the first Audemars Piguet watch to be ISO certified.
The case on the Offshore Diver is 42mm and made from a solid block of stainless steel but it does sit tall on the wrist at around 14mm thick. The caseback on the new Offshore Diver features a large display window, made from sapphire crystal, that allows you to view the mechanical movement inside. The caseback is held in place by 8 screws and is sealed to give the Diver a 300 meter water resistance rating. On the right side of the case is the tradition screw-down crown, finished in black ceramic and ping gold, that is used to set the time and day on the watch. The second crown sits at 10 o’clock and it is used to to set the inner rotating bezel. This bezel is around the dial and can be used for timing during dives. On top of the case is the legendary octagon Royal Oak bezel that sits on a large rubber gasket and is held in place by 8 hex screws. Under the sapphire crystal is a Khaki Green dial the the Royal Oak Offshore’s Méga Tapisserie texture. Méga Tapisserie is a sequence of raised squares with a matte finish. The hour markers and hands are made from pink gold and filled with larger amounts of luminescent material for easy reading underwater. A date is located at 3 o’clock and has a magnifying cyclops lens integrated into the glass.
Inside the stainless steel armor is a self-winding mechanical movement that was designed and built in-house by Audemars Piguet in 2021. The Calibre 4308 is an upgraded movement with a date that moves to the next day instantly a new setting mechanism for added durability. The 4308 contains 234 individual parts, offers the wearer 60 hours of power reserve and features an oscillating rotor made from solid 22k pink gold. That rotor is then given a dark grey finish and perfectly hand polished.
Holding this dive watch on Viktor’s wrist is a Khaki Green rubber strap with a stainless steel pin buckle. You are able to quickly change out the strap with quick release buttons on the lugs and pin buckle. Each strap then has steel latches built into them to snap into the lugs and pin buckle. Audemars Piguet makes plenty of $600+ rubber and leather options to dress up, or down, your Offshore Diver.
These Royal Oak Offshore Divers are gaining popularity and at one time pretty easy to get your hands on. This isn’t the case currently and if you can get one at your local Audemars Piguet dealer for the $29,000 retail price, consider yourself lucky. On the secondary market you can expect to add around a $6,000 premium to that retail price.
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