As a golf coach in his first year, David Nuhn said he didn’t have a lot of experience in recruiting.
He had to quickly assess his team for the 2016-2017 season, and without many athletes initially interested in Idaho, he had to start from the beginning.
“I started reaching out to fellow PGA professionals in the Northwest that might have known kids that hadn’t been signed or declared yet,” Nuhn said.
Freshman Brock Anderson was one of those athletes.
Freshman Ethan Atherstone took a different approach to the recruiting process.
“I got an email from him saying he was interested in the program,” Nuhn said. “I was very lucky that he sort of fell through the cracks, so to speak, and I was able to start talking to him.”
Regardless of how they became Vandals, both Atherstone and Anderson agreed that they were sold after their first visit.
“When I came up to visit, it just felt like home,” Anderson said. “Everything just felt right.”
Atherstone said he liked the school and enjoyed the atmosphere.
The two freshmen started their careers differently, too.
Anderson started playing golf during his freshman year of high school after he caddied at his local country club. The club professional allowed him to golf for free on Mondays. Once he began playing, he said everything took off from there.
Atherstone got his start at a much younger age.
“My grandpa got me into it when I was like 10,” Atherstone said. “Once I started playing, I liked it and just started playing more and more.”
They both fell in love with the competitive aspects of the sport.
As Atherstone and Anderson transitioned from high school to collegiate golf, they both ran into the same issue — balance.
Atherstone said he has found time management vital to maintaining the workload on the course and in the classroom.
Although the two did not go to high school together, both agreed they had more freedom in high school than college.
“In high school, me and Ethan could kind of just go out on our own and do what we wanted to do in practice and play when we wanted to,” Anderson said. “That’s just really different how you really aren’t the one making the decision now each day in practice.”
Nuhn said the freshmen play more golf than they’re used to.
“We practice a lot, we play a lot, we qualify, we travel and we have school,” Nuhn said. “They have all the resources to be successful and I think they’re doing just fine.”
While the 2016-2017 season has barely begun, Nuhn said he has already seen improvement in the young golfers.
“I’ve seen improvement in their willingness to engage in the process,” Nuhn said. “In golf, it’s a long and difficult process. It’s about figuring out what you need to work on and then working on it very diligently.”
Nuhn said the main focus is figuring out what the two freshmen, and the entire team, need to work on while on the course.
“We are still figuring things out,” Nuhn said. “It’s a long road to conference.”
Mihaela Karst can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mihaela_jo