The University of Michigan-Flint Golf Club has become the first athletic organization in school history to participate in a national championship athletic event. The club is headed to the Collegiate Golf Alliance's National Championship Tournament November 8-9 in Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Silverstone Golf Course.
According to the CGA website, 750 colleges and universities participated last year, with 50 to 80 local qualifiers.
Playing for UM-Flint are Larry Launstein Jr., David Houbeck, Andrew Estes, Ricky Brooks, Joseph Swailes and James Cane. All six qualified through UM-Flint's own qualifier held Sept. 20 at the Grand Blanc Golf and Country Club. Miami of Ohio also participated in UM-Flint's event.
This year, the Golf Club also sent representatives to the CGA local qualifiers at Michigan State University and Central Michigan University.
Launstein, the club president, said, "I hope this is the first of many opportunities for students in all sports to have a chance on the national stage. I am very proud the Golf Club has the chance to be a trailblazer."
The contract UM-Flint has with the CGA requires it to host a qualifying event each year, and to send representatives to the national tournament.
On starting the club, Launstein said, "I am graduating in December, and I wanted to leave something for the students to enjoy and build into something. And being a golfer, I saw this as a great vehicle, and wanted to create something both men and women could participate in at the same time. And the association with the CGA was the perfect opportunity. I just wanted to give something back to the university and the students who have been great to me."