Wasn’t it nice to see some live golf on television this past month? It was really odd seeing Tour Players carrying their own bags or riding in carts, but at least we got a chance to see some live sports in action. It’s been too long. This month of June, the Tour will restart, although it will be without fans on the grounds of the tournaments. That certainly will be different, but it is a good decision and one that I have no issues with right now.

It is sure to be a unique year coming up. I am hoping that we will have our Trojan golfers back in town this fall practicing and improving, as we have for the past 53 years. Although this year’s team did not have the opportunity to defend the National Championship title in Odessa, Texas, we hope to be doing so this next spring in Lubbock, Texas. This group had a tremendous opportunity to indeed bring another ring home to Alexander City, as they were playing some tremendous golf when they were sent home in March; however, no sour grapes here. We’ll make lemonade out of lemons somehow. 

With so many uncertainties circulating, there are a few positive things that are going to be happening for this upcoming year’s Central Alabama Community College golfers. We will have three amazing golf manufacturing big hitters that will be helping us. Bridgestone Golf will be our ball and glove provider again. Our Trojan golfers have been playing Bridgestone since my first CACC Golf Team. I was sponsored by and played the Bridgestone ball – then it was called Precept – since  the mid-1990s as a golf professional in the Atlanta area. That relationship has continued.

Back in those days, they had a couple pretty good players using their balls, including Nick Faldo, Nick Price and Raymond Floyd. Not a bad line-up. Today, Bridgestone continues with strong players using their balls on Tour: Lexi Thompson, Matt Kucher, Freddie Couples, Bryson DeChambeau, Rocco Mediate and a fairly well-known golfer named Tiger Woods. The Bridgestone ball may be the best wind ball I ever played. It is durable, and possibly even more impressive is how consistent the ball is. We are blessed to have this relationship with Bridgestone Golf.

We will be wearing a new product in golf that you may be aware of and possibly have a few pairs of their athletic shoes in your closet: Asics. Asics has begun making golf shoes, and our Trojan golfers will have the privilege of wearing them this coming year. Asics does not have a vast line in golf yet, but I like what they are offering.

They are producing a spiked and a spikeless golf shoe, both in a few different colors. The spikeless shoe will work great for me (with my swing speed) or any golfer that doesn’t need to be nailed to the ground.

Their spiked shoes all come with the new BOA lace system. This new “twist a knob” rather than “tie your shoes” concept is coming on strong and is quite popular, especially with the younger guys. Personally, I like tying my own shoes, because I use that as a monitor to tell me that I haven’t lost all of my marbles yet. Once I forget how to tie those puppies, I will hang them up.

Ah, but I digress … Both styles, spiked and spikeless, are waterproof and lightweight. They also are very affordable. Cleveland Golf will be the distributor for Asics shoes.

This next announcement brings golf full circle for me. When I was a very young junior golfer, my golf shirts had one of two animals embroidered on the chest. Yes, of course, one was the alligator and the other a penguin. I am very excited that CACC golfers will be outfitted with Penguin of Munsingwear.

I met with the national sales manager of Perry Ellis at the PGA Show. This company has a broad umbrella that, along with Perry Ellis, also represents Nicklaus, Munsingwear and a few other apparel companies. The sales manager suggested that the team wear Penguin apparel this year. I couldn’t agree more. The styles and patterns of the shirts, shorts and jackets that the company offers hit every age group, and my boys are going to love this line of clothes. The complete line is super comfortable, and seeing how this company has been in the golf industry for more than 70 years, thefolks there know what they are doing when it comes to performance wear.

Of course, let’s not forget the main attraction to CACC Golf (no, it’s not me): Willow Point Golf and Country Club. Along with me, my young golfers are so blessed to call Willow Point their home course for at least two of their four years of college golf experience. Willow Point’s practice facility and golf course has everything and more of what I need as a golf coach to prepare my players to become champions. 

I have to give all of the companies, Willow Point and all the people who represent them a great deal of thanks. Although our golf program is one of the most successful college athletic programs in the nation, we are still extremely limited in funding. We are so blessed in having a great many friends who annually donate to our program so that the young student athletes who represent CACC will have the opportunity to achieve their dreams. With the help of these considerate donors and our equipment sponsors, I look for another great year ahead for CACC Golf.

Let me share with you a few more things that I am very proud of. This year’s CACC Golf Team, like all students across the country, went completely online for their schoolwork in the middle of the spring semester. Now to be very honest, I am scared to think of the grades I would have had at the age of 19 had I been pulled from the classroom and required to use a computer as my source of education. Not every person can become successful with an education online; however, my players did extremely well. Once again, the boys earned the Outstanding Team Academic Award with their cumulative grade point average for the year.

In this final spring semester, freshmen Keith Watkins and Ken Goforth were on the Dean’s List, and Jack Goldasich, Tanner Guthrie and Alexander City’s own Dylan Moncus were on the President’s List with perfect 4.0 GPAs. DylanMoncus also earned an Academic Scholar Award for the year. Goldasich will be heading to Tuscaloosa in the fall to play golf with Coach Jay Seawell of the University of Alabama, and Moncus will be in Birmingham playing for Coach Al Del Greco of Samford University.

I thank all of the companies listed above, Willow Point Country Club and all of our donors for the support they have given us. Join me in keeping my fingers crossed that CACC Golf will be competing this coming fall. I know that my returning players and the new freshmen coming in are all anxious to get the ball rolling into the hole as Trojan golfers. 

I hope to see you all soon. God bless you and keep you well.

~ Dave Jennings is the men's golf coach at Central Alabama Community College.