Written by JBeal30314

9th Annual MAPGA College Golf Seminar

More than 160 Middle and High School golfers from around the Middle Atlantic area attended the 9th Annual MAPGA College Golf Seminar presented by Second Nine Consulting, Saturday, February 2 at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md.

This year the seminar was broken up into three breakout session with expert panelist consisting of college golf coaches and industry professionals who offered insight regarding college recruitment, finding the right school, financing tuition costs and the life and expectations of a student athlete.

 “In its ninth year, the MAPGA College Golf Seminar has grown into a great resource for young golfers and their families,” Will Martindale, Junior Golf Director said. “Our goal every year at this event is for juniors and parents to walk away from it with a better understanding of where they are, what they need to do next to best prepare themselves, and what college golf experience will be best for them.”

According to Martindale, the day proved to be a huge success because of the commitment and care shown by the expert panelist.

Second Nine Consulting Representatives Rich Brazeau and Brian Watts gave insight to junior golfers about the importance of their continued education and what it means to be a college golfer. They started with the importance of what it means to gain a coaches trust by upholding their character and demeanor.

Rich Brazeau, President of Second Nine Consulting is a former college golfer and coach. Brazeau has helped more than 100 families navigate college golf recruitment. He coached three seasons at Seton Hall University and four seasons at US Military Academy at West Point.

“It all starts with how you conduct yourself at home and at school,” Brazeau said. “Do you respect your parents? The relationship between you and your parent through adversity is what makes a junior golfer stand out to golf coaches. Also, having a mindset for success inside the classroom is contingent to great athletic performance in and outside the classroom.”

Brazeau emphasized to juniors how academics and the ability to learn can be used as a stepping stool to help with college opportunities and scholarships. He states, “Academics matter; your athletic ability will help you get recruited for college, but your academic skills are what gets you accepted into college.”

As MAPGA Member Billy Dillon and Director of University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s PGM Program added,” The best way to get in school for free—is by being a good student.”

Virginia Tech Head Men’s Golf Coach, Jay Hardwick, PGA also emphasized the importance of reputation.

Virginia Tech Head Coach, Jay Hardwick, PGA speak with junior golfer about women’s college golf recruitment.

He said, just as we all are a reflection of the logos we wear, we all have an important logo to uphold and those are our reputations. “You will carry around your reputation for the rest of your life,” Hardwicks said.

According to Watts, it is important that the juniors understand that their opportunity is different from the juniors’ sitting next to them.

“Don’t limit yourself when communicating with coaches; cast your net and expose yourself to different junior golfers and tournaments that are right for your choice of school,” Watts said.

Marc Thayer of Virginia Junior Golf Scoreboard also spoke with the students about finding the right fit when it comes to searching for college golf programs and gave a list of questions they need to ask themselves before reaching out to coaches.

  • What do you shoot?
  • What programs/organizations do you play in?
  • Are you going to camps/networking with coaches?
  • What do your academics look like?
  • How far do you want to live from home?
  • Can you afford the tuition?
  • What does the university’s roster look like? What do they shoot?

Watts added it is vital for juniors to be both assertive and respectful when seeking a coaches time and attention.

Note: Golfers may not schedule an official or unofficial visit with a golf coach until September 1, of their junior year.

Marc Thayer of Junior Golf Scoreboard (Middle) emphasizing the importance of finding the right fit in the “Getting The Coaches Attention” breakout session. He was joined by Brian Watts (Former Oregon and West Point University Coach) and Mike Larkin, PGA (Towson Head Coach)

According to Thayer, the college golf recruiting process is highly competitive and if the student does not know their range it will be extremely difficult for the student to compete in college. Many of the speakers admitted their universities have competitive acceptance rates.

This is especially true for Division I and II schools. And Division III schools often do not have athletic scholarships.

Thayer quoted, of the top 46 percent of colleges many of their golf rosters are filled with international players.


High School Junior and MAPGA Junior Golfer, Branden Nguyen came into the seminar knowing how competitive the recruitment process is. He learned that only the top 50-100 junior golfers around the world will receive full rides to a university.

However, these numbers did not phase his dedication to work towards competing in college.

“I got keep grinding and working hard,” Nguyen said.

Towson Head Coach, Mike Larkin, PGA, meeting with junior Golfers and their families.

MAPGA Member and Towson Men’s Golf Coach, Mike Larkin said, coaches can be looking at anywhere between 8-10 golfers at a time, just to fill three spots. “Be selfish, be productive and keep reaching out to these coaches,” Larkin said. “Show them that you care.”

Shannon Briggs, Head Women’s Coach at Longwood said, if a player cannot show they can recover or maintain their composure coaches often will move on to the next potential recruit.

Longwood University, women’s Head Golf Coach, Shannon Briggs meeting with a few young ladies about Division I & II recruiting.


However proving you can play, maintain your character and keep up with your academics is half the battle; financing college is still the most crucial part of college recruiting. It is a reality that many students will not receive a full ride scholarship to play golf so finding other alternatives can be beneficial.

Towson financial aid officer, Terry Porter guided many students through the intricacies of obtaining military, athletic and non-academic scholarships. As well as, gave a detailed breakdown of financial aid awards to help juniors understand the types of scholarships and the amount offered per team.


Terry Porter (Financial Aid Adviser Towson University), Calle Nelson (UVA Women’s Golf), Rich Brazeau (Second Nine Consulting) and Rob Ferguson, PGA (Marymount University Women’s Golf).

“It will surprise you how many people and organizations are offering scholarships,” Porter said “Sometimes you will be the only one applying”$50 or $1,000 it all adds up.”

Porter said, “it is as simple as going on Google.”

He also encouraged students to seek advice from their high school resources counselor in making sure they understand the guidelines, expectations, and level of presentation needed when resumes are reviewed by University Admissions teams.


Congressional Country Club also proved to be an accommodating host for the event once again.

Congressional Junior Golf Director, Stacy Miller-Arndt, PGA, said she was happy her facility could host another successful seminar.

“The Seminar is always a great day of learning and continues to open everyone’s eyes about the recruiting process.” she said. “Every year the college golf seminar has taught me something to help our juniors navigate the recruiting process. This seminar is a must for all golf professionals.”

While some junior golfers may go on to play college golf and others may go on to simply pursue higher academic learning, one thing is assured, the impact these coaches made on the students will last a lifetime.

Written by JBeal30314

Kingsmill Invitational: Ben Kruper Charges Way To Victory, Tatum Walsh Dominates Field


Fall is surely upon us as the Kingsmill Championship Junior Invitational proved to be an exciting tournament, November 3 – 4 on the River Course, as the young competitors faired against high winds and close competition. Despite the circumstance, Ben Kruper (Woodbridge, Va) and Tatum Walsh (Midlothian, Va) toughed it out and played great golf, coming out on top.

Kruper carded a two-day total 4-over-par (76-70–146), making six birdies throughout the weekend, four of which were during the last nine holes of his final round. This string of birdies just placed Kruper at the leaderboard as runner-up Brad Riley (Sandy Spring, Md) finished two strokes behind Kruper.

Kruper said during the second round he had a rough time trying to save par on the front nine, but on the back nine he began to “drain” some crucial 8-footers to place him at the top of the leaderboard, finishing the second round 1-under-par.

Walsh was tied for first after the opening round of the invitational with Elizabeth Coffren (Owings, Md) at 4-over-par (75). Both of these ladies had more than a three-stroke lead coming into the final day of competition. However, while the majority of the field struggled to convert pars and birdies, Walsh made four birdies against three bogies and a double-bogey to finish the second day 1-over-par (72) for a two-day total 147.

According to Walsh, those birdies didn’t come easy.

“I really just thinking to stay calm, because I really was nervous standing over a few putts,” she said. “But, opening with those birdies really helped my momentum.”

Walsh hopes to continue this momentum through the rest of the season.

Congrats to our winners and Special thanks to PGA Professional Loren White and Kingsmill Resort for hosting. See you next year! Click the button below for the results!



Written by JBeal30314

Danielle Suh Comes Out On Top at Denny McCarthy Invitational

SILVER SPRING, MD — It was a game of consistency during the final day of the 2nd Annual Denny McCarthy Junior Invitational at Argyle Country Club in the Girls’ Overall Division and at the end of the day 16-year-old Danielle Suh (Herndon, Va.) posed next to Denny McCarthy with the invitational trophy.

Suh carded 3-over-par (75), making two birdies against five bogies the first day and finished the final day in a similar fashion, 4-over-par (76) for a two-day total 144. During the final day, Suh made four birdies against eight bogies.

According to Suh she knew the tournament was close, but she focused on playing her game and let the rest of field play theirs.

She attributed a great short game to her success during the tournament and the loving support of her family keeping her motivated throughout the day.

Trailing Suh in second place was 15-year-old, Hannah Hankim from Potomac, Maryland who stayed fairly consistent with a first and second round 5-over-par, 77 to finish with a two-day total of 154.

Pos Player Today Thru Total R1 R2 Total
1 Danielle Suh +4 F +7 75 76 151
2 Hannah Hankim +5 F +10 77 77 154
3 Jessica Rathbone +4 F +11 79 76 155
4 Tatum Walsh +6 F +12 78 78 156
5 Faith McIlvain +7 F +13 78 79 157

Full Results: https://mapgajr.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/mapgajr18/event/mapgajr1827/contest/1/leaderboard.htm

Written by JBeal30314

Lou Baker Goes Back-to-Back at Denny McCarthy Invitational

SILVER SPRING, MD — The final day of the 2nd Annual Denny McCarthy Junior Invitational, proved to be an exciting event at Argyle Country Club—all the way down to Boys Overall Defending Champion  17-year-old, Lou Baker’s (Timonium, Md.) last putt—dropping a four-foot birdie to solidify his back-to-back win. Baker finished 1-over-par (71-72-143) to win the tournament.

Baker was in the last group of the day and knew he had to make the putt to prevent a playoff against runner-up, 14-year-old, Matthew Monastero (Leesburg, Va.) who was tied for fourth (3-over-par) coming into the final day. Monastero carded a final round 1-under-par (74-70-144).

“Standing over the ball with the gallery at my back—I was nervous and my hands were shaking—but I knew I had to make the putt,” Baker said. “I had a similar putt on Hole. No 17 where I ran my birdie putt by the hole and had to putt for par—I wasn’t going to miss it again.”

He said that was the first time he had to make a putt to solidify a win, let alone a back-to-back win. But, where Baker said he made the putt to win the tournament, he didn’t play like that all day. Similar to the day prior he made five bogies against four birdies.

During the first day, Baker was the only competitor to card even-par (71), making four birdies against four bogies. But his lead was still marginal coming into the last day as he led the majority of the field by no more than three strokes.

According to Baker, he had gotten behind early the final day as he made three bogies against two birdies on the Front Nine. The streak continued throughout the Back Nine with a bogey as a result of a lost ball on Hole No. 10 and bogey on Par 5, Hole No. 12.

Baker said he came into the day playing aggressive, trying to go for all of the Par 5s.

This was indicative of his final round match-up against17-year-old, Austin Barbin from Elkton, Md., and 13-year-old, Bryan Kim from Brookeville, Md., who trailed Baker by two strokes coming into the final day.

Baker said, he grew up playing with Barbin, who was a childhood friend and he knew Barbin wasn’t going to make it easy on him. On top of that Kim proved to be unrelenting with his short-game. Barbin placed third carding 3-over-par (73-72-145) and Kim tied for fourth (73-74-147).

At the end of the day as the light began to fade from the sky and the air grew chilly, it was Baker who posed next to 2018 Web.com Tour Champion Denny McCarthy with the invitational trophy.

Baker showed gratitude towards the McCarthy family saying what outstanding work they do helping to grow junior golf.

The invitational is the namesake tournament of 2018 Web.com Tour Champion and MAPGA Junior Tour Alumnus, Denny McCarthy (Takoma Park, Maryland).

The field consists of the Top 60 Boys and Girls from Maryland and Virginia:

Top 10 Boys Class of 2019 — Top 5 Girls Class of 2019

Top 10 Boys Class of 2020 — Top 5 Girls Class of 2020

Top 10 Boys Class of 2021 — Top 5 Girls Class of 2021

Results: https://mapgajr.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/mapgajr18/event/mapgajr1827/contest/5/leaderboard.htm