Summer Q&A Series | Head Men’s Golf Coach | June 26, 2014
Throughout the offseason, GoMocs.com plans to check in with all 12 Chattanooga Mocs head coaches to see what goes on during the summer months with each program. Today we visit with four-time Southern Conference Coach of the Year Mark Guhne.
Guhne completed his ninth season with the Mocs making an eighth straight trip to NCAA Regionals, and third berth in the NCAA Championships with the first individual qualification since Neil Connolly in 1993. Senior Chris Robb became the third All-American in school history by tying for 15th at the NCAA Championships with birdies on five of his last six holes.
You were a wrestler in college, when did you get your start in golf?
“I have played golf ever since I was about eight year’s old. My next door neighbor’s uncle growing up ran the public course in Cleveland. We use to go there every day to hang out. I’ve played golf all my life. Around 10th-grade, I thought I was a little better wrestler so I concentrated on that, but I always played in the summer even while I was wrestling.
What made you decide to become a pro?
“I like to teach. I really enjoy the teaching aspect whether elite-level players or beginners. I thought if I am going to be coaching, it made sense to do it. I think it gives you a little more credibility on the teaching aspect as a professional who has been through training.”
You became a pro, regained your amateur status a few years ago and now are a pro again…are we losing you to the Senior Tour?
“(Laughs) No, no…there is nobody I could have beaten 10 years ago on tour and I think they’ve all turned 50 with me so there is no chance of me doing that. I still love to play golf tournaments and compete. When I was a pro I played all the section events and made so many friends. When I went back to being an amateur I thought I would play more, but I didn’t and I really missed it.”
You’ve had three All-Americans. What’s something they all have in common?
“Work ethic. First and foremost. But I think in addition to that is maturity and confidence. Chris Robb and I talked after his last round (at NCAA Championships) that in addition to the work ethic is the maturity. Once they start maturing in their golf games and learn to handle those emotions, they have the confidence to be more positive with themselves. Those are the two most important aspects to be a great player at any level. One you have to have the work ethic and two you have the right attitude“
You are an avid fisherman. Is there a similarity between fishing and golf?
“There is. Tournament fishing and tournament golf…it’s all on you, they are individual sports. Whether you are on the water or the golf course, you have to be confident in your own ability. I’ve been fortunate to be around some of the best fishermen in the world and we’ve had that talk. There are so many similarities. It goes back to wrestling, I’ve always been drawn to things where I have to depend on me. Fishing is a nice break away from things as well.
Talk about the balance between team and individual play in college golf:
“It really starts with recruiting. You try to find guys who you know are going to get along. They don’t have to be best friends, but they need to be able to respect each other and have common goals. Then it falls back on work ethic again. Our guys all live together, work together and build a comraderie where they play for each other.”