By Hannah Lutz
Playing golf at a collegiate level is what Ryan Chandler, senior psychology major, wanted to do since his sophomore year of high school. Chandler, from Kenton, Tenn., played golf during all four of his years at Union City High School.
He has been selected as the TranSouth Men’s Golfer of the Week three times this season.
The champion putter was granted a golf scholarship to Christian Brothers University in Memphis. After playing one year for Christian Brothers, he decided to transfer to Union, where he also received a golf scholarship.
“I transferred to Union University because I wanted to be closer to home,” Chandler said.
He was introduced to the game of golf by both his father and grandfather.
“When I was 10 years old I played in a grandfather-grandson tournament with Big Daddy (Chandlers grandfather), and we won,” Chandler said.
Players have different ways to motivate themselves to improve their game.
“My motivation to succeed at golf comes from wanting my dad and Big Daddy to be proud of what I have accomplished,” Chandler said.
Golf is not the only sport Chandler likes to play. Before college he played basketball and baseball. He also enjoys hunting and fishing.
“Golf was my best chance at a scholarship, so I started working hard at it during high school,” Chandler said.
He currently is the No. 2 golfer on Union’s team.
“Ryan is the best driver of the golf ball I have seen,” said Brett Barry, sophomore sports management major. “He consistently hits it down the middle and deeper than anyone I have played with in college.”
The team made the national tournament last year and looks to do the same in 2011.
“We need to win the conference tourney again to make it to nationals,” Chandler said. “Having the same chemistry we did last year and getting to where we can all play well on the same day is how we will be able to compete at nationals.”
Barry said, “Ryan is our most reliable player. I can always count on him to come in with a solid score when it matters most.”
The game of golf does not stop for Chandler after the season is over, as he plays the game throughout the summer too. He said he enjoys playing tournaments in the summer season because it gives him a chance to compare his game to the competition.
“Outside of college you don’t have teammates you can rely on to motivate you,” Chandler said. “Summer tournaments help make a player better because you’re on your own.”
After graduation Chandler would like to work in the golf industry. He is a physical education minor and is interested in being an assistant coach and eventually teaching the game.