In January, Andy Germann placed tied for third in December’s ShowMeGolfers Junior Championship. The ShowMeGolfers event preceded the national convention for the Golf Coaches Association of America in Las Vegas, allowing coaches the opportunity to step away from convention activities and onto the golf course to recruit during the weekend.
When I last spoke with Andy, he was still looking for which college to continue his golf career. He found that perfect fit, signing a Certificate of Intent with the United States Air Force Academy.
High school students sign a Certificate of Intent with the Air Force Academy, as opposed to a National Letter of Intent (NLI). A Certificate of Intent is a non-binding agreement that signifies an athlete’s commitment to follow through with the appointment process. (Information from the United States Air Force Academy Athletics website)
Last month at the Goodman Networks Junior at Traditions, I had the opportunity to catch up with Andy and his dad Chris. We talked about Andy’s journey to find the right fit to play college golf, the AJGA and Andy’s decision to attend the Air Force Academy.
Me: What were your thoughts going into last season regarding the college recruitment process?
Chris Germann (Andy’s Dad): He [Andy] did not play in any AJGA events prior to last summer. He was average score wise and just wasn’t ready to compete; he was still trying to play in local tours. But going into that year, we knew that, if he was going to play golf in college, we needed to be involved with the AJGA.
The first thing we did was to figure out how to get into events, and we saw that Preseason events were going to be the best way to get the foot in the door. Andy placed second at the Preseason Junior at Brookhaven and that gave him confidence for the rest of the year. He didn’t feel like he needed to play catch up, he felt like he needed to keep playing. The Preseason event was a great way to do that.
Me: How did you hear of the ShowMeGolfers event, and why did you decide to pursue attending it specifically?
Chris: Going from summer tournaments to tournaments during the school year, we looked for special events that weren’t necessarily during the school week. That one was, but it was one event during the school year that we identified that we really needed to do. We put all our eggs in one basket. Going in, we told Andy, “This is one point on the line, you have the spring season, and you have the summer to play in AJGA events.” He just went in with the attitude, “Let’s see what happens.”
Me: Leaving the ShowMeGolfers event, what were some of your impressions of the event, the AJGA and any college prospects?
Chris: (On the AJGA and events…) My first impression was how well the events are run. Everyone is committed to what the mission is, and I sincerely mean that. Everybody is great to work with, we felt treated really well. The fields, there are kids and families that are really dedicated to golf, and you meet quality people, kids and families from all over the country. That’s a fun part of the experience.
Andy: (On the ShowMeGolfers event and college prospects…) I just think there are tons of opportunities, there were so many good coaches there. Doors were opening that weren’t there before. It was good.
Me: Tell me a little bit about Andy’s desire to attend a US Military Academy and that opportunity.
Andy: I had never really played well in school tournaments and it was the AJGA that really gave me the opportunity to play well. It was really cool how it worked out; I’ve wanted to be a pilot for a long time.
Chris: Andy wanted to play golf in college, but he really wanted to be a pilot at one of the Academies. So, when then AJGA talks about helping kids realize dreams, you have to realize that it’s not just golfing dreams, these are life dreams. If other kids like Andy can use golf to become an oil man, a stock broker or an Air Force pilot, then that’s the value of the AJGA.
I don’t know about you, but that last quote from Chris is what sticks out to me most about the interview. It’s an awesome reminder that the AJGA is helping all different kinds of junior golfers achieve their dreams, from juniors like Andy that hope to attend a certain school and program to juniors that hope to someday play on the PGA TOUR or LPGA.
As the spring signing period for 2013 graduates begins today, I can’t wait to hear more stories like Andy’s as AJGA members decide colleges at which to follow their dreams, whatever those dreams may be. To keep up with where AJGA members are headed, make sure you take a look at our Spring PING College Golf Signing Day album on Facebook, and key an eye on the #collegegolf hashtag on Twitter.
And just as a reminder, if you’re signing a National Letter of Intent today or in the future, make sure to let us know!
Happy spring signing period!
Until next time -