New Kid on the Block

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With only 24 days of regular season competition available for college golfers, I tend to be a bit leary when new events pop up on the schedule. As a whole, coaches tend to be creatures of habit, and have very few changes when it comes to what tournaments to play in on a yearly basis. So when Georgia Tech Head Coach Bruce Heppler told me about the event he would be hosting at The Golf Club of Georgia this past week, I was curious to see how it would all play out.
 
The support and commitment needed to make a college tourney legitimate and memorable is not as easy as one might think. But after two days in Alpharetta, Ga., I was not the only one to think this group hit a home run with the United States Collegiate Championship.
 
First of all, the course was in immaculate shape, and provided a stern but fair test for the players. Caddies were also provided for each competitor to give the full effect of a PGA TOUR experience. Electronic scoreboards, limo rides to and from the airport, and a courtesy Escalade for teams to use to and from the course were just some of the other extras at this fine event.
 
After talking with several coaches and players, the consensus was this would quickly become one the best places to tee it up every year, and hopefully a tournament they would be invited back to.
 
Clemson Head Coach Larry Penley has won plenty of team titles in his 20-plus years overseeing the Tiger program. But after going winless since the spring of 2004, the victory this past Tuesday was special for so many reasons.
 
There can only be one team to win the first ever USCC, and that is us, and always will be. They can never take that away from us,' he said.
 
'Bruce Heppler told me this would be one the best regular season championships I will ever see, and he was right; I hope to be a part of this for many years to come.
 
Penley is not the only one who feels this way about the new kid on the block.
 
A quick reminder: Join Megan West and me for College Central presented by PING on our new night and timeWednesdays at 6:30 p.m. (ET).
 
Email your thoughts to Steve Burkowski