Bragwell enjoying golf at collegiate levelPublished 4:09pm Tuesday, July 8, 2014
By Matt Wilson
For the FCT
With one year under his belt at Central Alabama Community College, Will Bragwell said plenty of things have changed —including his golf game.
Bragwell said he wasn’t even sure he would end up playing golf in college after being a standout at Russellville High School.
“I had talked with the coach at UNA and I had talked to Wallace (State), but I didn’t get any real responses,” Bragwell said.
Then Central Alabama came into the picture and Bragwell found a place for him to take his golf game to the next level.
“Central Alabama’s coach got in touch with me and I ended up playing nine holes with him,” Bragwell said.
“He told me if I got my ACT score up and finished strong that I could end up down there.”
Bragwell said the meeting inspired him to finish his senior year with a strong push and to eventually bring his ACT score up and land at the community college in Alexander City.
But new scenery and new routines can be tough things to line up with as an 18-year-old fresh out of high school.
“At first it was different—I didn’t like it—I just had to get used to how it was going to be,” Bragwell said. “But now I love it.”
On top of the new way of living that college life requires, Bragwell went into his first year at Central Alabama coming off of a surgery and an overhaul of his swing.
“Leading into my first year down at CA I had my appendix removed and I was in the middle of changing my swing — something that I needed to do anyway,” Bragwell said.
“It was a tough transition.”
Bragwell said he has never been burned out on golf over all of the years that he has played, but that first semester was difficult for him to handle.
“I’ve never been tired of playing the game, but I was playing awful golf that first semester and I hated it,” Bragwell said.
“I had been off for a while with the surgery and I was mentally and physically dealing with changing my swing. It was just something I had to deal with.
“A swing change is something that can take two or three years to fully realize. And it is so mental, but you just have to end up where you can tell yourself one thought and just hit the ball.”
Bragwell said the biggest difference he has seen between his time at Russellville High School and playing at the college level is talent.
“I used to be at the top of the leaderboard. I would always see myself at the top of the leaderboard, but in college everyone is just as good,” Bragwell said.
“I’m no longer ‘that guy’ on the team because everyone is a good golfer. We have a really good team at Central Alabama.”
And that team is what Bragwell attributes to him being able to deal with the changes in his game and life.
“Our team is always together and I lived with a couple of the guys this past year,” Bragwell said.
“We are always around each other and able to talk golf.
“Your teammates notice little things that you do in your game so having a good bond with them allows us to talk about those things and get better.”
Bragwell said since moving on to the college level he has improved on a few things in his golf game and attributes that to his teammates and his coach, Dave Jennings.
“Coach is always there, always helping you work on your game,” Bragwell said.
“He doesn’t get onto you or anything, but he is always pushing you to stay on top of things and work on what you are struggling with.
“I have really gotten better at managing my game and the details that you have to pay attention to when you play. Coach has really taught me to manage each round I play.”
Bragwell said he hopes to continue to improve during his time at Central Alabama and wherever he moves on to after that.
“I expect better scores next year and I expect to get better each time I go out there,” Bragwell said.
“And my short game – you can never be too good at your short game.”