September 12, 2016
Many factors can impact a golfer’s performance, like determining the right line for every stroke, the amount of swing required, the weather or a player’s mental state.
But once a player masters these, golf is ultimately rewarding.
Junior biology major Colin Prater was named RMCA Men’s Preseason Golfer of the Year this fall. Prater and the rest of the UCCS golf team are competing in their first RMAC event Sept. 19-20, in Littleton, Colo.
After winning the Conference Championship last year, Prater and his team hope to win another.
“Our team goal is to win every event that we tee it up in. We’re just going out there to play our best,” said Prater.
This summer, Prater played in the U.S. Amateur event at Oakland Hills Country Club in Michigan, which is the largest amateur event in the world. Colin had a two-round score of 145, a five-over-par score.
“That was a fun event, because of the experience. I learned a lot about myself, and more importantly, about the game,” said Prater.
Unlike some golfers who only focus on one part of the game, Prater is universal with his practice strategy.
Prater said his practice schedule is usually focused on his short game for two hours followed by an hour at the driving range.
“I want to be consistent. The key for me is playing holes where there’s no mistakes made. There’s not one specific game that stands out for me. I just want to focus on everything all around,” said Prater.
As for the team, practice happens Friday through Sunday, where two days are used for playing rounds and one day is used for practice routines. They normally play Monday afternoons, while Tuesday and Thursday are fundamental days.
“You always want to have a focus on what you want to work on. You always want to have a plan. Whatever you need to work on, go for it,” said Prater.
Golf can be both physically and mentally draining, but the stigma does not phase Prater.
“I don’t let it get to me too much. I’ll only spend 20 seconds on each shot, and move on. The best thing golfers need to have is a terrible memory. What I mean by that is you don’t want to think about your worst shot. Just move on to the next,” said Prater.
Although golf is an individual sport, Colin believes it is also important to help and support his team any way he can.
He looks at golf as a chance to form a good friendship with his players, and he also wants to help make the season the most memorable for three of the seniors on the team.
“If you’re playing in a college event, you want them to play well. You want to give them support, and we’re just trying to make each other better as players,” said Prater.
After his college golf career, Prater hopes to play professionally.
“That’s the ultimate goal. I’m really competitive, and I always want to win,” said Prater.