#CollegeGolf #DreamsComeTrue #HardWork.
No matter how you hashtag it, Kevin Trobaugh is officially a NIACC Trojan.
The Gladbrook-Reinbeck senior signed his letter of intent on Wednesday to play golf for NIACC next fall, and a couple hours later he was tweeting about how he'd put an end to a quest that began when he was 12 years old.
Gladbrook-Reinbeck senior Kevin Trobaugh signed his letter of intent on Wednesday, March 4, 2012 to golf next year for NIACC and head coach Chris Frenz. Seated next to Trobaugh are his parents, Joe and Mary, along with G-R boys’ golf coach Chad Bixby, far left.
Photo by Jessica Larsen
"It's been my goal ever since I started taking the game seriously," Trobaugh said of playing collegiate golf. "I was in sixth grade and I decided 'I want to get there,' so I worked hard and I finally did."
'T-Bow' has been one of Gladbrook-Reinbeck's top golfers since his freshman season, and his scoring has improved each step along the way. After finishing out his senior campaign, Trobaugh will take the next step at a NIACC program that also has been making strides.
Last spring, the Trojans won the NJCAA Division II Region XI championship for the first time in 20 years to advance to the national tournament.
"We finally busted through and, because of that success, now we're getting more and more looks from more and more people that have been successful," said NIACC head coach Chris Frenz. "It's just continued to get better. We've always been pretty decent but as far as overall team ... last year it gelled, it came together and this year we're getting some attention from guys like Kevin down here at Gladbrook-Reinbeck.
"I'm very pleased with where the program has come in five years and I just think it's going to continue to get more successful when you get guys like him on the team."
Trobaugh won a sectional title in 2011, was third in 2010 and took second after a playoff in 2009. He has played in the district meet every year so far but the state meet has eluded him each time.
"I've got to finish off the golf season strong, hopefully we can get through to state as a team and if not, hopefully I can make it by myself," said Trobaugh. "Just gotta play well, get it done."
As a freshman he had a nine-hole average of 43.5. His sophomore average dipped to 43, and his junior year mark was 42.5. In two meets this season he's averaging a 39.
"Kevin actually sent a letter to me expressing his interest, and I started looking into him a bit and his scores," said Frenz. "I talked to some of the coaches that he's played against and they all had high regard for him, not only as a golfer but as a person too, and that's what I really look for.
"I always figure if I can get that No. 1 or 2 guy off the smaller schools that are very successful in their programs, I think they can compete at any level. And he's going to join a real good group coming in (next year) too."
NIACC's roster of freshmen currently includes last year's Class 3A state champion, Brent Tarr of Clear Lake. Three members of Mason City Newman's 1A state champion squad are also there, including one of Trobaugh's old playing partners from the Iowa PGA Junior Tour.
"I was impressed with the visit and I've been talking to (Frenz) for quite a while now, and Dalton Olson plays for them and he's a very good player," said Trobaugh. "I got the opportunity to talk to him on my visit and he was telling me about NIACC and I was impressed. And they have a top-notch business school and that's what I'm going for, so I figure I could get a great education while I'm there and that's important to me."
Trobaugh is all business, too, when it comes to golf. Listed at 5-foot-7 and 130 pounds, Trobaugh knows he's not one of the bigger hitters around. But his attention to detail and his impeccable short short game more than gets him by.
He lists course management as his weakness, which falls right into Coach Frenz's wheelhouse.
"That's what I try and work on the most," said Frenz. "A lot of these guys' technical swings, they've always worked with swing coaches already so I don't really delve into that a great deal. Mine is more the course management side of it."
That's ironic, because Trobaugh said he hopes to "get into golf course management at some point in my life because I love golf so much I just want to stay with it."