American golf adventure brings out the best in Nick

Royal Eastbourne scratch player Nick Ward continues to make giant strides in golf on the other side of the Atlantic.

Nick 21, is halfway through his business management degree at the Georgia Southwestern State University.

Alongside his studies he represents the university golf team and has enjoyed great success on the fairways in the USA.

He has contested 11 university tournaments this year and has achieved five top 10 and three top five placings.

On the long and unforgiving golf courses, not far from the famous Augusta National Golf Club, Nick has an impressive scoring average of 72.9 for the year and is ranked 34th in America for DII regional golf.

It was enough to see him gain a place on the All-Conference Team and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Ping Southeast Golf Team.

Nick, who reguarly cracks the ball more than 300 yards off the tee, said, “This year I have noticed big improvements in my game.

“Everything is much more consistent and I feel more confident on the course.

“My swing is much tighter and my short game and my putting has improved. I am studying every day but when that’s finished I am working on my game.

“I’m enjoying my golf and enjoying life in America it has been a fantastic experience for me. I am playing with other good players and the coaching has been great. The courses are long and you need a few extra yards to be able to compete on those courses.

“Most of them are around 6,800 to 7,200 yards. We do a lot of gym work to improve the swing and help us gain that extra yardage”

Nick is back in the UK for the summer and continues to to fine tune his game with golf coach Glyn Bateman at Lottbridge Golf Club.

At the Lagonda Trophy at Gog Magog Golf Club in Cambridge he finished tied 13th with rounds of 70, 73, 73, and 71. He also competed well at the Sussex Amateur Championships played at West Sussex last Saturday.

After 36 holes of scratch play he made the the cut and won his first match play round before being knocked out in the final 16 on the extra play-off hole.

Nick added, “That was a good event for me and to compete well shows how far I have come.

“I feel as though my game is much more solid and I can play good golf under pressure.

“Long term I would love to play golf as a professional. It’s what I love and what I enjoy doing the most.

“If I continue to improve as I have this year then I have a chance.

“I have two more years in America. I will see where my game is at and then I will know if I can give the tour a go or not.”