Golf season is about to start back up, and when it does, UNCG will have a new face on their roster. Grant Powell is beginning his first semester at UNCG as a sophomore after transferring from Greensboro College over winter break. Powell grew up locally, attending Northwest High School, graduating in 2016 after collecting a number of accolades while on the golf team there. He will be majoring in business administration with a concentration in management at UNCG and the spring semester will provide Powell with an opportunity to make an impact for the Spartans on the course, as well as in the classroom.
When asked about what motivated him to make the move to UNCG, Powell didn’t hesitate to point straight towards the coaching staff.
“Coach Stewart and Coach Christina both back me up 100% every step of the way” said Powell. “Coach Stewart was honest with me and gave me the honest truth every time I talked to him, and he believed in me. That’s what I want in a coach and going forward he’s going to be a big mentor in my life and Coach Christina is going to help with the psychological things. It’s going to be a great new chapter” added Powell.
According to Powell the transfer between schools has been a smooth one. It helps that he was already familiar with the current Spartan golfers. “I knew every one of them. It was a really good transition for me” said Powell.
As most golfers already know, the mental side of the game is crucial to success and Powell sees Coach Stewart taking his game to an even higher level in that department.
“He brings the best out of you. He makes you work on your weaknesses. It’s goal setting. If you have a chip shot thats downhill and you have to get it up and down to win the national championship, nine times out of ten you’re going to refer back to practice and think, did I ever have this shot?”
While Powell already views the mental side of his game as a strength, he is aware that coming to UNCG will provide an even higher level of competition and just making the starting rotation is far from a given.
“One of the strengths of my game is more on the mental side. If I’m down at all, I know I have to pick myself up to have a successful day on the golf course. If I don’t make a tournament one day, I’m not going to be mad at myself; I’ll just have to work harder” Powell said. “Because i know this is Division I, not two or three. Here you have to be the best to be in the starting lineup day in and day out.”
While there is certain to be plenty of pressure on each golfer during tournament play, Powell has a pre-round ritual to help ease himself into action.
“I will go and talk to each player that I know, have a chat with them and catch up on things, ask how the semester is going. Then I will talk to my team and tell them to go out and play well” said Powell.
Whatever Powell does seems to be working. He finished his last semester with a 73.2 stroke average. To be playing so well at the age of 19 it seems reasonable to think of a potential future after college in golf. But while Powell does have aspirations to play professionally at some point, right now he is focused on the next two and a half years in the collegiate ranks and getting a degree is a big priority.
“I’m going to stay all four years and get my degree. My Dad and Mom both went to school here, and I just want to finish and get a degree for them” said Powell.
UNCG gets back on the course Feb. 11 in Martin Downs Collegiate in Palm City, Florida. It should be a lot of fun watching Powell along with the rest of the squad develop over the next few months.