+ College Golf

A different kind of driving

The college golfers who will play in the first BMW Carolina Intercollegiate got a chance to take a test drive at the BMW Performance Driving School. (GolfClub Photo)

The golfers who will play in the BMW Carolina Intercollegiate learned a couple of alternate meanings for a few of the terms they use on the golf course.

They got to experience a different version of launch angle when they stepped on the gas in a BMW M4 and when the cars hit the skid pad they learned about another kind of spin rate.

The college players who will compete in the first BMW Carolina Intercollegiate got to put the pedal to the metal at the BMW Performance Driving School in Greer near the manufacturing plant.

Most usual pre-tournament activities consist of a guest speaker in a blue blazer and a meal. The players may get a bag tag and a tee shirt from the event and have to sweat out the speech in their own blue blazers.

Doug McGrath and the staff at the BMW Performance Driving School gave the golfers in the BMW Carolina Intercollegia a memorable experience.

“A lot of the kids said this was the best thing they have ever done,” said Doug McGrath of the BMW Performance Driving School. “When we do this for the Korn-Ferry Tour pros, before the BMW Charity Pro-Am, they have to slow their swings down after riding round the track,” he joked.

USC Upstate golf coach Todd Lawton has been working on a tournament for the Spartanburg area for several years.

The pandemic kept the event from beginning two years ago, but now it is set to start on Monday at the Carolina Country Club.

The tournament is a 54 hole event and golf fans are welcome to come out and see the tournament. No ticket is required.

“The course is in great shape and we have some very good teams in the field,” said Lawton. “We are going to have a really good tournament,” he added.

Lawton and Upstate along with Van Williams, the Wofford golf coach, are acting as hosts. Adding in the BMW Performance experience was something extra to make the tournament more than just a college event.

“This is pretty special for these guys,” said Williams. “This has been a dream and we’ve been working on it for some time so its great to see the guys really enjoying it,” said Lawton.

No it wasn’t Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson posting the fastest times on the track. Sorry, they were so fat they got way without catching their names, but these three are the fastest golfers in the tournament field.. (GolfClub Photo)

The golfers got to ride around the test track with an experienced driver and they had the chance to get behind the wheel and test their other driving skills.

“I’ve never done anything like this,” said Winthrop golfer Ian Faulconer from Greenville. “I put my foot on the gas and went from zero to 40 miles per hour in about a second,” he said.

BMW’s support of the tournament is part of an effort to develop an important event in the county where the manufacturing plant is located.

“The reason this was created was to bring an event to Spartanburg that would create a happening that people and companies could rally around. Having Wofford and USC Upstate working together on a college tournament and getting to play at Carolina, they should have a great time,” said McGrath.

The tournament at the Carolina Country Club is open to the public, no ticket is required.

Tee times will be set on Sunday and can be viewed at http://www.golfstat.com http://results.golfstat.com//public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=24283

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