The Western Washington University men’s golf team is gaining three new recruits for the 2021-22 golf season.
One recruit, Cole Reynolds, shared how he started playing golf, why he chose to play at a collegiate level and why he chose to attend Western. He is set to graduate from Auburn Mountainview High School in Auburn before attending Western in the fall.
"It's hard to think of a player more dedicated to golf,” golf Head Coach Luke Bennett said. “Cole's an extremely hard worker that loves to compete. He's going to make an immediate impact on this program."
Reynolds said that he started to play golf for fun in his backyard with plastic clubs when he was seven or eight years old. It wasn’t until one day when his mom left for a trip when he fell in love with the sport.
“It’s kind of a funny story, my mom was going on a trip so it was just me and my dad at home,” Reynolds said. “[My dad] plays on Saturdays with his dad and a couple of their friends; he had to bring me with him and I was like ‘I’ll bring my golf clubs too’ and that’s how it all started.”
He attributed the start of his golf journey to his mom because he believed that if she hadn’t gone on her trip, he wouldn’t have gone and played golf that day.
Reynolds decided to play at the collegiate level because he had already put so many hours into the sport. Eventually, if he wants to play golf professionally, he first needs to compete in college.
“Another reason is, when you're playing on a team, it’s a lot different than playing by yourself, cause before [playing on a team] I was just playing by myself, for myself,” Reynolds said. “When you start playing for a team, you get to know new people [and] play with new people — the camaraderie is definitely one of my favorite parts.”
During the summer of 2020, Reynolds participated in the Clallam County Amateur, a 54-hole medal play tournament. He secured second place with a 5-under-par 211 54-hole total, right behind Western junior Devin Andrews. He also reached quarterfinals in the 2020 Washington Juniors Golf Association State Match Play and he is a three-time North Puget Sound League 4A Olympic First Team All-Conference selection.
“I was excited that he was continuing [golf]. I’ve never seen anyone as dedicated to any particular thing as him to this game,” said Reynolds’ dad, Bryon Reynolds. “It’s been great to help form him as a young man and him continuing that into his collegiate career is awesome.”
Cole Reynolds said he chose Western primarily because of golf, but also because of the university’s industrial design program which is what he intends to major in. He also said that he loves that it’s the perfect distance from home, not too close, but not too far.
“I haven’t been up there [to Bellingham] too much yet,” Reynolds said. “Just being up there, around the campus and city, it’s kind of the perfect sized city. It’s not like Seattle, but also not a place that’s in the middle of nowhere.”
During his time at Western, he hopes to not only study and get a degree in industrial design, but also lead the men’s golf team to a national championship.
“I’ve talked with Coach Bennett a bunch and to me I think that’s the main reason why he brought me on,” Reynolds said. “I don’t think he would have brought me on for any other reason other than to go win a national championship.”
If Reynolds doesn’t lead the team to a national championship, he hopes he can just help the team grow.
Also joining Reynolds are two other recruits, Conrad Brown from Burlington, and Braden O’Grady from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.