While college golf will never reach the popularity level of other major sports, donors contribute often remarkable amounts to fund college programs across the United States. The impact has been felt both in lives changed by scholarships, but also by careers enjoyed because of college golf.
Which is why it's hard to capture the role played by Mark Laesch, founder of Golfstat in 1984. While described as a "friend to college golf" in this moving remembrance from Beth Ann Nichols, I would argue that Laesch's vision for scoring, stats and rankings made the sport something to be followed by friends, family, donors and fans. That Golfstat continues today as the preeminent source of information speaks to Laesch's influence on countless lives and importance of his creation.
From live scoring to detailed statistics and rankings, Golfstat provided new methods for NCAA coaches and committees to advance the game.
“I think what he did simply was a labor of love for him,” said Florida State men’s coach Trey Jones. “He changed college golf.”