Emily Marron is in her seventh season as head coach of the women’s golf program at UNC Greensboro. The Spartans are members of the Southern Conference and finished fourth in the 2009 league tournament. A native of Johnstown, Pa., Marron played collegiately at Penn State and was the team’s co-captain in 1997. Before coming to UNCG in 2003, she served as an assistant coach for three years at her alma mater and was the recruiting coordinator and was also involved in fund-raising, travel, practice and summer golf camps. She is a Class A member of the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Division.
Q: What golf skills do you look for in a recruit?
A: I am looking for well-rounded players. Distance is certainly a factor these days, but if you have a great short game that can make up for a lot. I like to see someone who manages their game well, and makes good decisions on the course.
Q: What are the intangibles you look for in a recruit?
A: I am trying to recruit not only good golfers but good people. You have to be a well-rounded person, and have a passion for playing golf and being part of a team. I will take a hard worker over a technically sound golfer any day. And as always, first and foremost, we are looking for good students.
Q: How many times do you go out to watch a recruit play?
A: During the summer I might watch a girl five or six times. The NCAA only permits us to have seven evaluations/contact during the school year, but in the summer we can watch someone an unlimited amount.
Q: What is the workout schedule that you use for your team?
A: We work out with our strength/conditioning coach here on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 8 a.m. Our three goals are endurance/flexibility/core strength. We don’t necessarily do a lot of heavy lifting as we do medicine ball work, hip flexor exercises and a lot of stretching. We also do Pilates twice a week during November and December.
Q: What is the biggest shock kids have the first year of college golf?
A: I would say the biggest shock is time management. You have to really find a balance between school, golf and your social life. You have a lot more responsibility in college, doing your own laundry, getting to class, workouts, practice, and then on top of that, traveling. We miss a lot of school when we travel, and the girls really have to be responsible and communicate effectively with their professors.
Q: How has women’s college golf evolved in the last five years?
A: We have come a long way in five years. The NCAA now permits two coaches to coach, so most programs have hired an assistant coach, which is an advantage for the players. The college game has become much more competitive and the talent pool is deeper. Basically, if you are ranked in the top 100 nationally you can compete with most anyone, and it didn’t use to be that way. The girls are coming to college a lot more developed and are playing at a higher level than ever.
Q: There seems to be a lot of girls dropping out of participating in college golf around the country this year. What do you think is leading to this?
A: The lure of professional golf gets to a few players every year, but I really wish we would see more players stay and graduate from college. You can learn so much from playing college golf, not to mention the value of a college education. I think some players are not used to the team environment these days because they are growing up playing only golf. I like to recruit players who have been on a team or who have played another sport so they know how to function within the team dynamic.