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Anthony Maccaglia From The Swing Thought Tour Joins Us For A Q&A

The Golf Coaches Association of America, in cooperation with its long-time corporate partner, the Swing Thought Tour, will feature a monthly Q&A with former collegians who are currently playing or have played on the Swing Thought Tour. Long considered the premier developmental tour in the United States, thousands of former college players have started their professional careers there. More than 250 Swing Thought Tour alumni have or continue to play on the PGA TOUR.

This month we spoke with Anthony Maccaglia, a four time First-Team All-American at Oglethorpe. Maccaglia was named the Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year for Division III in 2015 and won the DIII individual national championship as a freshman in 2011. He also played for Team USA in the 2014 Palmer Cup at Walton Heath Golf Club.

Q: You played collegiately at Oglethorpe. How did you determine where you were going to play in college?

I wasn't recruited very highly while in high school so I joined a recruitment website during the summer between my junior and senior year. Coach Owen emailed me in November and came and watched me play in December. We spoke a while and the school was in a great place in Atlanta and seemed like a perfect fit.

2. Oglethorpe competes in NCAA Division III. What do some people maybe not understand about DIII golf, and how high the level of competition is?

There is definitely a stigma that D3 players can't play as well. I would say the top tier D3 guys can play D1 golf, but there aren't as many great players as D1/D2. Plus, the schools makes D3 players focus more on academics as opposed to athletics.

3. While in school you got the chance to represent your country playing in the Palmer Cup. What did you enjoy most about that experience.

It was an incredible and unforgettable experience. I enjoyed competing against the best collegians and amateurs in the game. It gave me a lot of confidence holding my own against those guys.

4. You played in the Palmer Cup at Walton Heath Golf Club in England. What was the biggest difference between that course and a typical course in the United States?

We actually played in relatively benign conditions so you had the option to play a more air-oriented game. But the biggest difference was the awareness needed of how the ball would react once it landed and where it would roll.

5. You were also named a finalist for the Byron Nelson Award your senior year in school. What did it mean to you to be associated with Mr. Nelson and his legacy?

I thought it was an honor just to be associated with his name. It was extremely humbling to be up for an award based on character and community involvement. Anytime you are associated with a true gentleman of the game like Mr. Nelson it is special.

6. You had your first professional win earlier this summer at the Swing Thought Tour’s Biggs Cadillac-Buick-GMC Classic. How did it feel to get that win under your belt?

There's nothing like getting the first professional win. The feeling is so exhilarating and addicting. It motivates me to work harder and get back in a position to win.

7. You won the event on the second playoff hole. Did you approach the playoff differently than any other tournament round or hole?

A sudden death playoff is unique because there's no opportunity to bounce back. I knew a birdie would win so I was a little more aggressive to try and be the one that made the birdie.

8. What was the transition from collegiate to professional golf like for you? Was there anything you didn’t expect?

As much as you try to make it the same, there is definitely a transition period. I thought the biggest difference was how much planning it takes to be prepared for an event like travel, scheduling, time management, etc. In college, that responsibility fell to the coach so you take it for granted a bit. However, the independence is nice. On the course, there is no real difference. No matter what level, golf comes down to getting the ball in the hole as quickly as possible.

9. What is the best piece of golf advice you have been given?

If you fail to prepare, you better be prepared to fail.

10. Several alumni of the Swing Thought Tour have gone on the great success on both the PGA and European Tours. What about the tour prepares golfers for continued success as they progress through their careers?

I think the best thing it teaches us is how to manage practice days and energy maintenance for a week long tournament. The tournaments are structured similar to the major tour events so a year or two on a developmental tour like this gives you a good idea about how to manage an event with 2/3 practice rounds and 4 tournament rounds.