At 12 years old, senior Ryan Porch thought golf was just another sport. In high school, he began to play more competitively, but the sport still held no meaning. It wasn’t until he reached college that golf took on a deeper meaning.
After four years on the University of Idaho men’s golf team, Porch is getting his diploma, but he will not pursue a career utilizing his finance degree. Instead, Porch plans to become a professional golfer.
Porch fell in love with golf when he started to play in college, and it’s his love that drives him to compete at a professional level.
“It’s easily one of the biggest factors,” Porch said. “I don’t think I could find a job that I love more than I love golf.”
Porch said he takes nothing more serious than golf. In fact, he said it already feels more like a job than an extracurricular activity. Once Porch can devote all of his time to practicing, he said he will have the ability to become an even better player and it really will be a full-time job.
Porch said the decision to pursue golf as a career will result in a tough lifestyle with its own challenges.
He said it will be a tough lifestyle, but the end result will be worth it.
“There are a lot of sacrifices I am going to have to make, but I’ve sort of come to terms with it,” Porch said. “I realize there may be times where I have to drive all day, play in a tournament and then sleep in my car afterward.”
Porch said he has grown accustomed to the dedication required from college atheletes. Porch said he rarely goes out or stays up late because he likes to wake up early and practice.
“(Early morning practice) isn’t something I have to do. Instead, I want to do it. If this is going to be my job, then I want to get better at it and I need to enjoy it,” Porch said.
Porch said a demanding schedule of a student athlete can be time consuming. School work, studying and attending classes are important to Porch, he said, but once he graduates, all that time will go toward golf.
Post-graduation, Porch said there are inevitable nerves that come with this important decision.
“Look at the percentage of college athletes who actually make it professionally, no doubt there is a statistical factor that says I shouldn’t do it, but I have a good support system which makes it easier,” Porch said.
David Nuhn, the Idaho men’s golf coach, is one person who supports Porch. He said Porch will be successful at the next level because of his ability to handle adversity.
Nuhn said a golf round is like a roller coaster, and he fully believes Porch has what it takes, from a psychological standpoint, to navigate that challenge.
“Even if it’s a negative outcome, it can be a positive learning experience. I think he understands there is still value in defeat,” Nuhn said.
Porch said he will chase a professional golfing career for three to five years. If he cannot make a reasonable living on tour, then Porch said he is willing to find a new profession.
Porch said he has competed in some small professional events, but none of them will compare to the competition he will inevitably face professionally.
Porch will spend most of the next few years traveling and living on the road. Once colder weather approaches, Porch said he plans to move to Arizona so he can train in optimal conditions year-round.
While he is not scared of the opportunity to pursue a professional career, Porch said he does not know what to expect.
“Whether I make it or not, I’ll be happy I tried,” Porch said. “Either way, this will be an experience I can learn from.”
can be reached at
or on Twitter @OzunaZack21