Bobbie and Golf Team at Greystone

Miles College golf team finds inspiration during visit to Regions Tradition course at Greystone

As last minute preparations were being made at Greystone Golf & Country Club for the Regions Tradition senior professional golf championship earlier this week, Leonard Smoot was already predicting the future class of pros standing right next to him on that course.

Smoot, coach for the Miles College golf team had joined his players at Greystone to celebrate their recent national college victory and to gather motivation for the next challenge on the links.

We’re Sending Out Future Legends

Leonard Smoot

Smoot said, surrounded by his team overlooking the Greystone golf course.

The Golden Bears are ready for their next major competition in the NCAA Division II Golf Championships this week at the Chattahoochee Golf Club in Gainesville, Ga. This is just the second time in school history that the team has played in the postseason.

“We started our season not thinking we were the best team in the conference and as the season went on, we got better and better and we started talking about winning the conference championship and what that would look like,” Smoot said. “It has been an amazing season, and these men have worked hard to get to where we are now.” The Golden Bears earned an automatic bid into the tournament after winning the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship by two strokes this in Lexington, Ky.

Additionally, the team in late February clinched the championship for Division 2 at the HBCU Collegiate Golf Championship, presented by Arcis Golf. The three-day event was in Weston, Fla.

“We worked for this so it’s no surprise to us, but we’re blessed, we’re happy and we’re glad to be here,” said team captain Malachi Greene, a sophomore.

He said each player signed an accountability contract that listed goals. Greene said every player believed in themselves individually and the team collectively from start to finish.

Player Samuel Stagno noted that the team has focused on the game at hand, in spite of challenges that they faced.

“This year working hard, planning and preparing really well really served us well,” Stagno said. “I’m really proud of the guys and all the work we put in and coming out on top.”

Miles College President Bobbie Knight said she is just as impressed by the team’s commitment to academic excellence as they are to athletic advancement on the golf course.

“They are great student athletes, but they are students first, and they are excellent students,” Knight said. “As hard as they work being an athlete they work just as hard at being a student.”

Knight also noted that the players are ambassadors as they visit area high schools to introduce younger students to the game.

“They are making it happen with young people, getting them interested in golf in elementary school and high schools,” she said.

Smoot, who built the Miles College golf team during the 2013 - 2014 school year was a player with the All-Marine Golf team. Now retired, Smoot quipped that he teaches his current players the discipline of a Marine without being in the armed forces.

“I teach them how to be a Marine without being a Marine,” he said. “At the end of the day it’s about believing in yourself. The trophy is an added bonus. I believe in them, and they trusted me. It is mutual respect that goes both ways.”