By Mike Belkin
Golf is not just a game we play, it’s who we are. We respect all of its tenets: honesty, integrity, sportsmanship and hard work. The game has given us just about everything we have that matters: joy, friendship and purpose. Our goal with CollegeGolfPass is to share this wonderful game by making it more affordable, accessible, and fun for all college students. With nearly 500 course partners that offer students exclusive collegiate rates, we improve the golfing experience for thousands of college students, many of whom participate on club teams through our sister organization, the National Collegiate Club Golf Association.
Kris Hart and I were Ouimet Scholars and met in June 2008 when we were fundraising for our respective golf clubs for the annual Ouimet Marathon.
We succeeded both on the course and in the classroom during our first three years in college, but from a golfing standpoint, our senior years differed greatly. While I was fortunate enough to captain the Amherst College golf team, Kris wanted to dedicate more time to academics and did not play varsity golf during his senior year. Kris had played golf constantly the past ten years, but on a college budget, he could not afford to pay $40 to play the local course. With many of his Bryant classmates experiencing the same predicament, he came up with a creative solution. He shared his idea for the CollegeGolfPass with me during a summer round of golf, and we instantly became partners with a shared commitment to grow the game for young adults.
We both left good jobs in the finance industry but could not be happier spending our days helping college students grow golf on college campuses across the country. CGP makes golf a reality for any college student, and we are having the time of our lives building a company that is genuinely aligned with our backgrounds and love for the game. We’re doing well, people are responding, and we’re thankful for the privilege to give back to the game that has been so good to us.
A friend of CGP once said, “I helped you guys out because everything I have in life is related to golf in some capacity.” If not for golf (and caddying more specifically), Kris and I would not know each other, fewer college students would be playing golf and I would not wake up each day with a sense of purpose knowing that we are building something special.
Mike Belkin is the co-founder of CollegeGolfPass.