College Golf and Journey to the US
Growing up in India, I faced a decision many junior golfers face. Most had to pick between their golf or academics, due to the sport not being classified as a competitive one in Indian colleges. I could have easily taken the route of playing in amateur tournaments and going to college locally, but this would prevent me from getting an overseas education in America and the exposure that comes with playing golf at a highly competitive level. Coming from an Army background, it wasn’t easy for me to convince my parents to support me as I embarked on this route as it was new and unconventional for them. Looking back today, I am glad to have gotten them on board with my dreams.
While my scores were good enough to gain interest from some Division 1 schools, I chose the University of Charleston, a top D II school to further my academic and golfing career. Collegiate golf was a huge shock and change for me in the beginning – there were longer golf courses which required the maintenance of a healthy balance between athletics and academics. Adjusting to playing golf as a team sport was also a very different experience for me. The reality of collegiate golf drove me to work harder every day in the gym, golf course, and the classroom. Struggles were not absent along this road I traveled, but eventually, I managed to lead my team to qualify for the 2017 & 2018 NCAA D2 National Championship, and win the 2017 & 2018 MEC Conference Championship.
Playing professional golf post-graduation was definitely something I had in mind – but I was still on the fence whether to continue golf recreationally, or focus on my professional career. In 2017, as a college sophomore, I came across AddedSport. I quickly realized my passion lied instead in helping and mentoring student-athletes and introducing them to a new path they never knew existed. I eventually began working at AddedSport during my vacations in college. Since graduating, I continued my association with AddedSport. My time here at AddedSport has been great, it has given me an opportunity to follow my passion and give back to the golfing community I have been a part of all my life. I am grateful for the chance to have worked with numerous student-athletes and truly elated to be able to make an impact by helping them achieve their dreams.
Ritwik Jain Athletic Consultant