Coming Home

BY LOGAN MCALLISTER

This series is brought to you by United Dairy Industry of Michigan.

I’ve traveled all over the country playing golf, but there is just something special about playing in your own backyard.

That’s why it was so fun to come back to OU to play in the Korn Ferry Tour’s Compliance Solutions Championship a few weeks ago at the Jimmie Austin Golf Club.

I’ve played this course a million times, and it’s where I’ve made some of my best memories in college.

We don’t play at many university courses on tour, so returning to the Jimmie is even cooler.

Getting to tee off on a course I’m so familiar with, and having the chance to sleep in my own bed as an Oklahoma City native, definitely makes it a fun “homecoming” of sorts for me.

It gave me a chance to reflect on my time at OU and its influence on my career today.

What OU means to me

I’m grateful to be playing golf on a developmental tour, but I’m even more grateful for my time as a Sooner.

My college experience was a huge reason why I’m able to continue to play.

I’m not sure I can fully convey the influence OU’s golf team and Coach Hybl have had on my career.

But, I’ll try.

I grew up an OU fan. I loved going to the football games and just soaking in the community’s excitement. 

So, when the opportunity came to play golf in college, I didn’t have to think twice about it. I knew that was where I wanted to be.

I wanted to be a part of a program that had such a rich tradition and history, and thanks to Coach Ryan Hybl, I got that chance.

The thing about Coach is that he cares just as much about how you’re doing off the course as he does on it. He wasn’t just trying to make us good golfers, he wanted to make us better people.

He’s created a culture of love and respect within the program. My teammates and I were like a supportive little fraternity, and they’re still some of my best friends today.

I don’t know if every great golf program has that bond, but I’m thankful we did.

Playing back here in Oklahoma, it’s hard not to reflect on Coach’s influence on my game itself.

He sharpened my mental approach to golf. 

He always wanted us to be the grittiest team in the country. 

Coach turned every one of his players into the absolute best player they could be – which is difficult with such an individual sport. 

He couldn’t be out there on the greens drawing up plays and stuff, so he taught us how to understand what we needed to do to get better.

I learned how to grind it out in tough moments – put a score up regardless of the circumstances.

Two years later, and I still think of Coach’s advice when I play.

Connecting with other Sooners

One of my favorite parts of OU is that everyone who has ever been a part of this program is still a part of it today.

Once again, that’s thanks to Coach Hybl. 

He created an alumni network of golfers who’ve graduated so we can learn from and support each other. 

That resource has been a huge help to me as I’ve started my pro career.

When I first got out on the Korn Ferry Tour, I reached out to several of the older guys who had been in my shoes and had played on the tour themselves.

They immediately took me under their wing and gave me a bunch of pointers, like how to register and where dining is each week.

They shared a lot of advice on things I needed to do to be successful out here.

I can’t thank them enough for everything they’ve done for me.

It’s one of my favorite things about OU — it’s not just a four-year commitment.

It’s a lifetime commitment.

I know it’s not like that at every college program, so I’m just really grateful to have that support system in my corner.

I'm not sure I can fully convey the influence OU's golf team and Coach Hybl have had on my career. But, I'll try. I grew up an OU fan. I loved going to the football games and just soaking in the community's excitement. So, when the opportunity came to play golf in college, I didn't have to think twice about it. I knew that was where I wanted to be. I wanted to be a part of a program that had such a rich tradition and history, and thanks to Coach Ryan Hybl, I got that chance.

Playing in this moment

My mentors made the transition to pro golf a lot easier.

I probably wouldn’t have had some of those opportunities without them. 

Like this season, I qualified to play at the U.S Open.

I got to play a practice round with Tiger Woods. 

I mean, come on — that was pretty cool.

It’s not every week you get the chance to play with the best golfers in the world, so that experience was special for me. 

I played pretty well in the first round, and I hope it offers a glimpse into what my career could look like in the future. 

But for now, I’m trying not to look too far ahead and just appreciate where I’m at and where I’ve been.

That’s not something I’ve always done, and it’s my biggest piece of advice to young golfers.

Be where your feet are.

You’re never going to get the chance to play with your five best friends every week. 

Soak it in.

That’s what I’m trying to do right now.

I want to get a little better every single week.

That’s what I’ve learned from Coach Hybl and OU’s golf program.

Grind it out, get better, and put a score up.

And I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.