Player diary: Davidson's Todd Eckstein (Part 1)
Hey, everyone! I’m really excited to be one of the college golfers blogging on the Golfweek website this year. Having said that, you’re probably wondering who in the world I am and what kind of perspective I’ll bring to this blog.
Let me start with a quick bio: I am originally from Durham, N.C., but I am now a junior at Davidson College, a small Division I school about 30 minutes from Charlotte. Davidson is known in a lot of fields for our academic rigor, but you may know us via Stephen Curry, who led our basketball team to an Elite Eight appearance in 2008. That academic rigor combined with an up-and-coming golf program were what convinced me to commit to Davidson in the fall of 2010. Richard Fountain, a senior on our team who I knew prior to college, convinced me to come on a visit that fall. Once I stayed a night and met with our coach, Tim Straub, I was sold that Davidson was a place I could call home for the next four years.
Over my last two years here, I have learned a lot about myself and, more specifically, my golf game. Both of my parents played professionally, and my dad has now been a PGA teaching professional for over 20 years. By the time I could walk, I already had a full set of plastic golf clubs. I learned to read watching golf and attempting to pronounce names on the leaderboard. The point is I have been around golf my whole life, but I have gathered more about the game in my two-year college career than the rest of my life put together.
Of course, this takes on a different form at a mid-major program. Yes, like our “BCS” opponents, we still put a tremendous amount of work into golf. Last year, our team had one of the most successful seasons in school history, finishing second at the Southern Conference tournament and just outside the bubble of an NCAA regional at-large berth. We want to be there just like every other team; the challenge is managing that ambition with gratuitous amounts of homework. Over the next year, I’ll blog about how we practice, our tournaments, what we do off the course and all the other things we’re doing to help Davidson make NCAAs for the first time since the 1970s. Hope you enjoy the ride!