Ram Masters Continues To Improve Men’s Golf Program

A fully funded program is even better, which Colorado state men’s golf coach Christian Newton understands very well. Since arriving on campus, funding from the program’s booster club – Ram Masters – has allowed him to continually build his program into a program that rivals those at major universities. And when it comes to giving the players on his team a chance to grow after college, the members are expanding those opportunities as well.

“It’s huge from a resource perspective, it allows us to do beyond what we have,” Newton said. “It allows us to do additional things, but it also gives me a really good group of people to introduce my players to so they can start their network when it comes to finding jobs, internships, sponsors. , that sort of thing. Basically we introduce them to influential people in northern Colorado, and they get to talk to them and network with them. I hope they build a relationship and do whatever you need to do. make it into the business world four years later.

That’s what the Ram Masters are now. Initially, it was the booster club that allowed the men’s golf program to exist. The group funded everything from scholarships and equipment, to uniforms and travel. When Mark Crabtree first came in as a coach, he had a box of personal files and around $ 5,000 to work with. Every member of the team was a replacement, and if you took your clubs to campus, you had a real chance to be part of the team.

Small beginnings, to say the least. But also big goals.

“I would say that when I entered CSU as a coach, the university wasn’t able to provide a lot of funding,” said Crabtree, who moved to Louisville and recently retired and has once again taken up residence in Fort Collins. “That being said, to create and start a competitive program, we had to develop a plan, and that plan was the community, the people in the community who loved golf and supported the state of Colorado. The question was whether we could contact them.

“At that point, whether the university wanted it or couldn’t – I don’t remember what it was – then what started was all that money. “

So Crabtree went into the community and started shaking hands and sharing his vision. In the first two years, two business owners donated $ 5,000 in start-up money, which at least allowed the coach to lead his team to local tournaments. Jim Smith and others started to take an interest, asking Crabtree what he really needed to get him started, as they all thought it was a shame that the State of Colorado didn’t have a team. men’s golf funded.

Crabtree said that with $ 50,000 he could really shake things up.

Smith and others started by talking to their friends at the Fort Collins Country Club, they formed a strong group of 30 people, each of whom pledged to donate $ 1,000 per year to the program for three years. It was a good start, but looking for more they got the idea to host mixers in people’s homes, usually around the country club.

“We invited the wives and everyone, and Mark was coaching the kids to go around and shake hands and thank people for their help. These kids, they were up to the task, ”Smith said. “About halfway through the first, the women were saying to their husbands, ‘we have to support these guys, they’re nice young guys.’ Usually it’s the guy who wants to donate $ 1,000 and the woman would rather have a new dress or go on a trip. So I knew when we strengthened the women that we were going to achieve our goals. “

Achieving these initial goals was great, and for some, unexpected. Yet it never stopped, and as time has passed and the board members have changed, the donation still takes place. Van Dewar has joined its five year anniversary and he helped create the logo that the organization uses. A business investor at heart, he has always had a passion for youth golf and has been involved in sport at the youth level since his early adulthood. While now living in Arizona, he created an endowment for the program before he left, and he still follows the team throughout the season.

He also saw the group helping the sports department as a whole.

“I think if we want to have a program we want it to be as good as possible,” said Dewar, who was also an assistant coach for a period under Bermel. “When we started, the university didn’t have money for golf. As 75 guys we would raise $ 50,000 to $ 100,000 a year to give them better clubs, bags, a trainer, to help their travel budget. What happened was that the university began to understand that during this time they could have a golf program and a golf coach who would help them organize fundraising golf tournaments. funds. The tournaments in which the coach and the Ram Master have participated have raised funds for the athletic program.

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