Greg Odom Jr. has develop into an integral a part of the introduction of Howard College’s golfing program – Endscape

Howard College graduate scholar Greg Odom Jr.’s first dialog with director of golfing Sam Puryear didn’t cross easily: Puryear remembers that Odom to begin with was once no longer desirous about attending a traditionally black school after spending two seasons on the College of Memphis. Bika was once bought and requested the nationwide championship-winning trainer if he drove the crew bus.

Now Odom is relishing the chance to constitute HBCU golfers, and each Odom and Puryear see this dialog as the start of a bond that may lend a hand form Howard’s program. After coping with the ups and downs of being a collegiate athlete, Odom mentioned his HBCU revel in is strictly what he wanted at this level in his existence.

“My teammates (at Memphis) have been simply teammates, however we become pals. Coaches had extra team-based tasks and have been very structured, more or less like the army, Odom mentioned. “However coming to Howard feels very family-oriented. I at all times say Trainer (Purier) is like my uncle. Then my teammates, they are like my brothers and sisters.

“All of us got here right here, we met in combination and the closeness and bond began rising. All our achievements have introduced us even nearer.”

Howard’s males’s and girls’s golfing groups are featured within the fourth season. why no longer us Endscape, Movie 45 and a chain of ESPN+ Originals. All 8 episodes of the groups’ 2022–23 season are lately to be had on ESPN+.

“I feel it was once just right to look our on a regular basis lives. Numerous other folks don’t know what HBCU golfing was once (and) what it may be, so it’s great to in any case percentage the sunshine on it,” Odom mentioned. “I used to be a kind of individuals who did not wish to cross to an HBCU to start with as a result of I felt it lacked assets and alternative. …Howard put us in the best position on the proper time.

Odom, one in every of two avid gamers who’ve been part of Howard’s golfing program since its inaugural season in 2020, firstly dedicated to his homeland faculty, the College of Memphis. He was once the primary African American to play at the Tigers’ golfing crew.

He has been an integral a part of Puryear in development Howard’s golfing program. Since arriving on campus in 2020, Odom has helped Howard win two PGA Excursion Works Collegiate Championships and was once a two-time males’s medalist on the Collegiate Championship, an award given to the golfer with the bottom ranking.

He credit his building as a golfer to his courting with Puryear and the teachings the trainer has taught him during the last 4 years.

“I feel essentially the most impactful factor I realized from him is to consider the method,” Odom mentioned. “And with consider within the procedure, it’s a must to be affected person. I believe like I wasn’t at all times a affected person particular person when it got here to getting issues accomplished. “I more or less discovered some way out of the tough terrain at first.”

Howard’s golfing program is funded by means of Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who returned this system to Department I golfing standing after a decade-long hiatus. Curry’s contributions to this system have given Odom the similar assets he had in Memphis.

“You simply must cherish the ones moments,” Odom mentioned. “It’s a must to put down the telephone and benefit from the second since you wouldn’t have anyone so achieved, simply stroll into the room and be capable to get to grasp his mind, communicate to him about psychological well being and what he loves to do. in unfastened time. … Steph (Curry) has taken massive steps ahead within the recreation of golfing. “The alternatives at Harvard have labored neatly for us, given the assets to be had.”

On a daily basis in apply, Odom’s teammates understand his effort and willingness to push all of them. Graduate scholar Everett Whiten Jr. mentioned competing towards Odom impressed him to earn his males’s medalist name at this 12 months’s collegiate championships.

“Greg is a smart teammate. It is simply going to be the best way I adore it,” Whiten mentioned. “He is laborious on you, he pushes you. He makes me a greater golfer, realizing that I’ve to play just right golfing to compete and beat him and likewise make us higher (and) more potent.

“(When) Greg gained the primary PGA Works (males’s medalist) it impressed me. It impressed me and motivated me to paintings tougher. I feel it is simply him patting me and hugging me at the inexperienced, like, it’s worthwhile to have my teammate there.

Odom’s affect at the golfing route isn’t restricted to his affect on his teammates. When he is house in Memphis, Tennessee, or practising by myself when he is in Washington, he is taking pleasure in serving to his teammates and any golfer who involves him requesting pointers.

“I wish to be anyone that, you realize, other folks appreciate and that they may be able to be informed from. I am not stingy with my assets,” Odom mentioned. “I’ve opened my fingers to all black golfers and junior golfers. I used to be that man no person ever admired when it got here to golfing.

“You at all times had Tiger Woods, however I believe like I could not in reality hook up with him. I am from Memphis. We have now heavy slang and heavy accents and I’ve to head my very own method.”

Heading into their ultimate 12 months, Odom and the Bison are on the lookout for their 3rd collegiate championship. He isn’t apprehensive about the way forward for this system after he and its unique participants Whiten graduate on the finish of this season.

“I believe like we have created an excellent platform and footprint for our friends or younger black golfers,” Odom mentioned. “And I feel that will probably be impactful as a result of being an HBCU golfer, we’re checked out in a different way in relation to collegiate golfing and even beginner golfing. I will be able to say that now we are not simply HBCU golfers, however you realize, world-class beginner golfers.

Odom made his PGA Excursion debut on the Wells Fargo Championship in Might 2022 on a sponsor exemption, competing towards two-time PGA Championship winner Rory McIlroy and 2022 US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick. Odom overlooked the minimize and completed the 2 rounds capturing 12 issues above par. He additionally earned exemptions to play 5 occasions at the Korn Ferry Excursion, the PGA skilled developmental excursion. In his newest look at the Korn Ferry Excursion he competed on the Memorial Well being Championship this summer time and completed one level wanting lacking the minimize.

Enjoying in PGA Excursion occasions allowed Odom to flirt with the opportunity of shifting directly to play skilled golfing on the finish of the closing two seasons, however he in the long run made up our minds to head at his personal tempo when it got here to pursuing a qualified occupation. .

“I would not say I am in the back of the 8 ball, however I do know the sport has modified since Tiger got here into the sport,” Odom mentioned. “(Golfing) is shifting ahead at a quick tempo. I believe adore it’s no longer a nasty thought to stick in school for an additional 12 months or two. When the time involves grasp that second I will be able to grasp that second.

Odom and Whiten dream of competing towards each and every different as professional golfers. Even though Odom has heard a lot of skepticism about HBCU golfing avid gamers competing professionally, he isn’t afflicted by means of the naysayers.

“I feel at different colleges (enjoying professional golfing) is essentially the most lifelike function for your entire teammates. …You are competing towards each and every different at the skilled excursion. However I comprehend it’s other for us as a result of (other folks) attempt to throw it in our faces – ‘Oh, possibly professional golfing may not paintings and you’ll be able to paintings within the clubhouse’ – however I feel our With all of the good fortune and alternative we are having, the possibilities of in fact getting within the ropes and enjoying are very top.

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