2020-21 Illini Men's Golf

#576      
I just read in the April issue of Chicago District Golfer magazine that T.J. Barger, a Bloomington H.S. senior, accepted a preferred walk-on offer to play for the Illini this fall. He was state 2A champ in 2018 and finished fourth in 2019.
Because of a long and consistent history of success, with no embarrassments or blemishes, Coach Small is much more able to stack talent than any other Illinois sports coach. Congrats to all on this commitment and welcome to C-U Mr. Barger
 
#579      
I love that he still tees it up...

Yes. If I were an Illini golfer, I would love that my coach was competing.

He's only 55, though. I bet he'll be playing in Illinois PGA events- Illinois opens this summer and maybe even receive an invite to other Champions Tour events or try to qualify. Time for coach to play himself some golf.
 
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#580      
Yes. If I were an Illini golfer, I would love that my coach was competing.

He's only 55, though. I bet he'll be playing in Illinois PGA events- Illinois opens this summer and maybe even receive an invite to other Champions Tour events or try to qualify. Time for coach to play himself some golf.
Could you imagine what the guy criticizing Underwood over his golfing comments in the other thread would think about this. I think he would have had a great chance of making more money playing golf than coaching. Seems like a great guy and the players all seem to really respect him.
 
#581      
Could you imagine what the guy criticizing Underwood over his golfing comments in the other thread would think about this. I think he would have had a great chance of making more money playing golf than coaching. Seems like a great guy and the players all seem to really respect him.
He played professionally on a full time basis for a decade after graduation - mostly on the predecessor to the Korn Ferry tour. Was able to move up to the pga for a short period of time based on his performance there. Then......kids. With the combination of mediocre professional results (he lost his pga card), kids and then a job offer by the AD at his alma mater he left the tour and came to Illinois while continuing to play some professional events in the off season. It has worked well for him. His professional resume helps with recruiting and his coaching has probably benefited his own game. He made $372,000 coaching this year. At one time he was the highest paid college golf coach in the country (not sure if he still is). There have been more than $20M worth of golf facilities added during his tenure and he has been the driving force behind the fundraising for all of those.
 
#582      
He played professionally on a full time basis for a decade after graduation - mostly on the predecessor to the Korn Ferry tour. Was able to move up to the pga for a short period of time based on his performance there. Then......kids. With the combination of mediocre professional results (he lost his pga card), kids and then a job offer by the AD at his alma mater he left the tour and came to Illinois while continuing to play some professional events in the off season. It has worked well for him. His professional resume helps with recruiting and his coaching has probably benefited his own game. He made $372,000 coaching this year. At one time he was the highest paid college golf coach in the country (not sure if he still is). There have been more than $20M worth of golf facilities added during his tenure and he has been the driving force behind the fundraising for all of those.
I should have specified that he possibly could have made more over the last 5 years (senior tour) playing than coaching. He seems to have aged well and I think he could have made some money out there. Glad he’s stuck with coaching and he’s building quite a legacy indeed.
 
#583      
I think Coach Small shot par in AmFam first round. Not bad for someone who likely hasn't played a lot of golf lately.
 
#585      
I should have specified that he possibly could have made more over the last 5 years (senior tour) playing than coaching. He seems to have aged well and I think he could have made some money out there. Glad he’s stuck with coaching and he’s building quite a legacy indeed.
I heard him say in a recent interview that some of his options were lost this year because some professional event were moved up in the calendar and he was still coaching in the post season.
 
#586      
So much free media promotion for Illini golf: Coach Small at AmFam; Hardy contending this weekend and announcers singing praises about the program in both cases. Great coverage of Nick at BMW. And his yardage book, whatever, had a big block orange "I" on it - and the camera showed it. Maybe these are feel-good moments for me, but it's for darned sure Illini golf is a powerhouse national program, according to Golf Channel, at least. And other great college golf programs know it, too.
 
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#587      
You may call me an anti-American, Commie-pinko, subversive degenerate bed-wetting swine, but I say this:

May the Thomases play well for Belgium at the Olympics. As in Pieters and Detry.

GO ILLINI AND USA!

Note: Illinois PGA Open is next week: Coach Small and a couple of his players are in the field at Stonebridge CC in Aurora; NIU players, too, plus Kishwaukee CC pro and his son (Illinois State player).

Last time I was at Stonebridge, Michael Jordan and a golfer by the name of Arnold Daniel Palmer played a practice round together. Got Arnie's autograph. A genuine thrill that lasts a lifetime. Former thrill: walking east on Addison near Wrigley, chit-chatting with #14. You talk heroes - Ernie was mine.
 
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#588      
Got to add: Illinois Open is open to spectators. Confirmation from GM's office. A beautiful course. I also got to banter (while he was playing) with Juan (CHI-CHI) Rodriguez way back. Yet another thrill. And I asked Dale Douglass (champion at Ameritech) what iron he hit on a great shot to a green. A six, he answered. Those were the days, my friend ...
 
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