Courtesy of the OSU Athletic Department
As the 2012 season is under way for Ohio State’s men’s golf team, seniors Alex Redfield and Dan Charen are looking to finish strong before their college careers come to a close.
And being the only seniors on the team, Redfield and Charen want to impress before they take their golf games to the next level.
But it hasn’t been an easy road for the senior duo, coach Donnie Darr said.
“Neither one of them worked as hard as they needed to in the beginning,” Darr said. “But as time went on, they have become hard workers and because of that, they have started to see better results over the last two years.”
After their final season at Ohio State, both players are hoping that all of their hard work results in a career on the PGA Tour.
“Obviously the main goal is the (PGA) Tour,” Redfield said, “but you really have to climb the ladder to get there.”
Redfield said the hardest transition from high school to college was the time commitment, and he expects a similar transition from the college to professional level.
“In high school, golf came relatively easy and I didn’t really put a whole lot of time into it, and I just went in and expected to play well,” Redfield said. “But when I got to college, I realized that in order to be really, really good, you have to put in a lot of time and outwork people who are just as good as you in order to reap the rewards.”
Redfield said he plans to take part in the NGA Hooters Tour’s winter series this year as his first step toward his goal.
Like Redfield, Charen also plans to pursue his “life-long dream” of playing on the PGA Tour, but he plans to put that dream on hold for just a bit.
After earning his undergraduate degree in finance from OSU last year, Charen is working toward a master’s degree in sports management, which he will complete in the fall of 2012.
“It’s exciting to know that I’ll be leaving Ohio State with not just an undergraduate, but also a master’s degree,” Charen said.
In addition to golf and school, Charen keeps busy as a part of OSU’s graduate assistantship, where he teaches a golf class and first aid class.
Charen said his schedule is full, but that’s what he signed up for.
“A lot of kids come to college to party and to have a good time,” Charen said. “But we made that commitment to come here and be an athlete at Ohio State, the best athletic program in the country. So our goals are centered around academics and golf.”
Charen said that after graduation he has every intention of turning his dream into a reality.
“I plan on going and playing down South and playing on some of the mini tours,” he said. “It’s going to be exciting.”
But both seniors are preparing themselves for this season first, and have set their sights on a Big Ten title.
“We haven’t won (a Big Ten title) since 2004,” Charen said. “We want to show up to every tournament with the mindset that we are going to win, because if you don’t, why are you there?”
Redfield echoed Charen’s comments and added that they “want to compete for a national championship too.”
Redfield said he thinks OSU has high potential.
“I fully believe that our team is going to be in the match play at nationals again,” Redfield said. “We want to give ourselves a chance, and when you get to match play, anything can happen.”
Darr said he is not concerned about setting goals, but knows that a large part of his team’s success will rest on the leadership of the two seniors, who he said play different leadership roles.
“Alex is a leader through his hard work and his results. He’s been very steady for us all year long,” Darr said. “And Dan has a confidence about him that is contagious to the other guys. The younger guys see him and they start to believe in themselves a little bit more.”
And boasting the seventh-hardest schedule in the country, Darr said the tough competition the Buckeyes face this season will help his young team.
“I believe you should play the best competition on the best courses because that’s what makes your program great,” Darr said. “We’ve taken a few bumps and licks, but that’s part of the growing process.
But when it comes to his seniors, he wants them to “dream big.”
“I hope that whatever their dream is, that they chase it and don’t let anybody tell them they can’t do something,” Darr said. “I hope they put all of their effort into it and go get it.”