Girl earns NCAA golf spot without ever playing competitive round

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

To say that Lindsey Snyder took an unorthodox route to a varsity college sports roster spot is a significant understatement. After all, her path to a position on the Barton College women's golf roster started with a drive to the school for a choir tryout.

Green Hope student and future Barton College golfer Lindsey Snyder
Green Hope student and future Barton College golfer Lindsey Snyder

Yet, as strange as that may sound, Snyder's varsity golf future is made even more confounding by the fact that she hasn't played a round of competitive golf … ever. In fact, according to the News & Observer's Tim Stevens, she hardly even picked up a golf club during her four high school years.

Here's how Snyder's meandering route from Mother's Day golf partner to Division II varsity golfer unfolded:

• Snyder, a senior at Green Hope (N.C.) High, decided to attend nearby Barton College in nearby Wilson, N.C.

• After hearing that Barton, an annual power in NCAA Division II men's golf (the school has won 12 consecutive conference titles), was in need of members of its first-ever women's golf team, Snyder reached out to longtime Barton golf coach John Hackney, who is pictured below, citing her golf experience as being daughter of a PGA apprentice tour pro and occasional swinger of clubs.

• Upon learning that Snyder was heading to Barton for a collegiate chorus tryout, Hackney asked if she could swing by the Wilson County Club's driving range on her way home so he could see her hit a few shots. After watching Snyder drill a bucket full of balls straight down the range, Hackney told her that he'd seen enough, and that she had a spot on his team if she wanted it.

Barton College golf coach John Hackney
Barton College golf coach John Hackney

"This isn't what I thought my college experience would be," Snyder told the News & Observer. "I was looking forward to all these new experiences. But when I really look at it, playing a lot of golf will be a new experience for me.

"I figured down the road it might be a way to get some financial aid."
While she won't be on an athletic financial aid as a freshman, there is every chance that she could earn a golf scholarship for the remainder of her college career. Regardless of how her financial aid turns out, Hackney said Snyder had exactly what he and the Barton athletic department were looking for in their first class of girl golfers: Potential.

"If they have some ability and they are willing to learn and to work, they can be pretty good in a couple of years," Hackney said.

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