A good swing isn't the only thing Western Maryland golf coach Scott Moyer looks for when he's on a recruiting tour. It's not even his first consideration.
The way Moyer sees it, there is much more to choosing a team member than how he strikes a golf ball, or even how well he scores.
Admitting that the judgment of young golfers can be the most precarious in all of sports, Moyer says that inconsistencies of golfers during their developing years fog their true abilities.
"The same young men who were sensations as sophomores can be bitter disappointments as seniors," Moyer said. "I think it's important to take into consideration a player's general character. In the long run, it's easier to make a good player out of an average golfer with strong qualities than a multi-talented performer with a poor attitude.
"I've traveled to several junior tournaments to pass judgment on the play of certain highly regarded players. Often, after following for just a few holes, I can determine how they will produce at a later age.
"Once I see someone toss a club or pout after a three-putt green, I don't want him regardless of what [score] he posts that day."
There are some clear advantages for golfers at Western Maryland, Mayer said. The biggest is that the college course, while it's only nine holes, adjoins the campus and eliminates travel for practice rounds.
And the college gives priority to the golf team for play at all times.
"It beats having to get into cars or buses and traveling 15 or 20 miles to the nearest practice facility," said Moyer. "Of course, we also have facilities for indoor practice, via driving nets and video cameras."
"A lot of good players consider the small WMC for developing their game, rather than the larger schools, mainly because they have a chance for a regular berth on the squad," the coach said. "Many students with high golfing hopes fail to play regularly at larger schools."
Still another attraction at WMC is its schedule. Although it competes in a Division III conference, the Green Terrors are invited to some of the major Division I tournaments. This year, they've been invited to play Division I tourneys at William and Mary, James Madison and the Naval Academy.
The opening tournament for WMC this year will be at home on Sept. 19. The event will include 16 teams with lineups from Division I, II and III conferences.
With the return of four varsity golfers, Western Maryland appears to be headed for a strong campaign on both its fall and spring schedules.
Returnees are Jeff Dierks, Steve Comes, Tom Brandt, and Brian Gallizzo. Dierks, Comes, and Brandt are seniors. Gallizzo is a sophomore. The lone loss from last year's regulars is team captain Ken Werley.
Others vying for positions this season are juniors Jim Naughton, Corey Duncan, Doug Berger and Jon Bleckley.
The golf program at WMC has grown to the point that it operates a double season.
"Schools without both spring and fall schedules are not recognized for Division I tournaments," said Moyer. "While it keeps both our players and staff busy, there never is any sacrifice with regard to academics."
This marks the last year that WMC will compete under the Middle Atlantic Division III banner. Next year the college will move to the Division III Centennial Conference in all sports.
There is no doubt who the champion golfer is at Bear Creek.
After winning both the match and stroke play club titles last year, Chris Conklin continued his streak by winning the 1992 stroke play crown with rounds of 74-75--149.
Adam Fouse was runner-up. Ed Harrison won the first flight and Don Cole took second flight laurels.