ZACH RUSSO | Reporter
Yente Van Doren of Belgium is now in his third year playing golf for Lindenwood, but his athletic career started on the soccer field.
Van Doren, a sports management major, said he did not enjoy the country’s most popular game. When his dad brought him to the golf course, however, he was hooked after one round.
Before Van Doren came to Lindenwood, he attended Belgium’s KA 2 Top Sport School Hasselt, the only golf-centered sports school in the country. When it was time to move into college, Van Doren looked into a program that sends students to the United States.
“Actually all of my friends from the school ended up going to the United States, and I really wanted to take this opportunity to see how good I can be,” Van Doren said.
Van Doren said the biggest difference between playing golf in Belgium and the U.S. is the grass. In America, most golf courses are made with zoysia grass, while in Belgium, they usually play on bentgrass. Also in Belgium the greens are smaller, and they don’t have as much slope as they do here.
The weather sometimes plays a factor too, he said. He is used to playing in the hot weather, but he is not used to the humidity of 95-degree weather in the U.S.
Van Doren said the best part of his game right now is his drive off the tee.
“It used to be my short game, but as my driving got better, I didn’t have to worry about my short game as much,” he said.
Van Doren said he likes the team play in college, but he really just focuses on his game.
“My favorite part about the game is being outside; it’s a sport you play against yourself,” he said. “You have to be really mentally tough to stay competitive.”
Van Doren plans to go back to Belgium after he graduates and hopes to play professional golf. He eventually wants to play golf in the United States. He said there are no large tournaments in Europe besides the European Open, while over in the United States, there are many large tournaments.
Van Doren said if he couldn’t continue playing, he’d like to get involved in the program that brings Belgian golfers to the U.S. or in coaching.