In Alumni Stadium’s midsection facing the south end zone, Drew Kayser shares an office with Boston College rowing and men’s and women’s tennis. Vibrant window panes illuminate a hallway leading up to his narrow office door, and a steel railing blankets the outside. The football field is hardly visible.
While many other golf coaches across the country have offices at a golf range or practice facility, Kayser’s office location takes on a nontraditional look.
Despite being tucked away inside Alumni Stadium, Kayser, BC’s men’s and women’s golf coach, has made himself known within the golf community and established a distinct identity of golf at BC. Kayser said that BC’s golf program is a clear representation of BC’s student-athlete model, which involves character and commitment.
“Certainly one of the strong values is character,” Kayser said. “I’m looking for the prospective student-athlete to have ethical will. And it’s a 12-month commitment, right? It’s your commitment to your team and to your university, your coaches, your program, your teammates, and you’re consistently trying to get better.”
From his days at Belmont Country Club as head golf professional to his 14-year career on the Heights, Kayser has emerged as a mainstay of both the collegiate and professional golf landscapes.
Kayser acknowledged that student-athletes face pressure to achieve high academic standards, especially at a highly competitive institution such as BC. Kayser said he has noticed the ways in which academics can have a multidimensional impact on student-athletes.
“There’s a lot of pressures that goes along with it,” Kayser said of being a student-athlete. “If you look nationally at the kind of mental health issues and anxiety issues, I mean, there’s a reason for it all.”
Kayser established the BC Golf Mentorship program in 2014 to assist players with interviewing and provide internship, career, and networking opportunities.
“Specifically in the Carroll School [of Management], there’s a competitiveness with the networking and internships and who’s landing a job,” Kayser said. “Somehow, [athletes] have to have the same sort of resume as those upper-crust students working in Manhattan while staying committed to their sport.”
Kayser’s experience with instruction is extensive. He was named head coach of BC’s men’s and women’s programs in 2012 after four years as BC’s assistant coach. During that time, he was also the head golf professional at Belmont Country Club.
“The majority of players have their own swing coach that they trust and have relationships with,” Kayser said. “I’m not going to come in and change the instructional component of their life. My idea is let me understand where you are.”
Kayser was selected for Golf Digest’s “The Best Teachers in Your State” list for Massachusetts in 2011. He was New England’s PGA Teacher of the Year in 2010. Kayser said he can accurately gauge his players’ tendencies and the areas in which they require development, as well as the ways in which his players can achieve those objectives efficiently.
“I just want to do whatever is going to help that player get better individually,” Kayser said. “Understanding ball flight, initial start lines, curvature. A lot of it’s game management. It’s understanding the risks, the rewards, when the green light, red light is. Making the right decision in the moment is what I help these guys do.”
Kayser said he greatly values leadership and delegates a large amount of responsibility into the hands of his teams’ leaders. Competitiveness starts with being heard, according to Kayser.
“Our captain Nick Cummings does a great job of working on the culture of the team, and he’s a second-year captain, so he knows how to run it,” Kayser said. “And then my other senior, Muzzy [Donohue], they’re just great guys and they’re very inclusive. They promote an air of discipline but where nobody’s holding back. Everyone’s heard.”
This fall, the Eagles placed fifth, eighth, second, and seventh in four invitationals. Donohue was BC’s top finisher at the Turning Stone Tiger Intercollegiate and the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational. Cummings and sophomore Ben Hong led BC in the Georgetown Intercollegiate and the Little Rock Invitational to close out the fall season.
“There are about 300-plus men’s division one teams,” Kayser said. “We were ranked about 180-plus which was based on last spring, and I think we’re now 114 or so. We climbed a lot, the guys played well, and my seniors played extremely well.”
Donohue tied for 19th place in BC’s second invitational of the fall—the Gene Miranda Falcon Invite—finishing one-under par after the three rounds of competition.
“Muzzy is the epitome of BC golf,” Kayser said. “His game, from freshman year till now, has done exactly what I described in the things I want to see. It climbed, it kept advancing, and he’s become a go-to guy. He’s got the lowest stroke average.”
Cummings’ 10th place finish guided BC to its best fall finish at the Georgetown Intercollegiate at Liberty National, where the senior out of Weston, Mass. finished one-over par.
BC competes against non-conference opponents as well as competitors from the ACC. Conference opponents such as southern schools like Clemson, North Carolina, and Wake Forest boast more state-of-the-art facilities compared to BC, which plays at Blue Hill Country Club in Canton, Mass. and practices in Fish Field House or the bubble over Alumni Stadium.
“We don’t use it as an excuse having to play indoors,” Kayser said. “The indoor practice allows us to work tactically on our swings more so than if we were playing continuous rounds of golf, where results and consequences truly confront the players. But mechanically, biomechanically, the players can get their swings sound in the bubble.”
Since taking the reins, Kayser said he has tasked himself with recruiting in New England and beyond. Compared to other local colleges such as Boston University and Harvard, BC dominates the recruitment pool, Kayser said.
“Number one, we’re a Power Five conference school,” Kayser said. “That separates us from a lot of northeastern schools. The high academic piece is a definitive recruitment tool for both sides, … and from there, if you look at the tournament schedule, we’re definitely elevated compared to a lot of northeastern schools.”
Ahead of BC’s spring tournaments, Kayser will look to his players to exhibit the qualities that make up the identity he’s formed in the golf program at BC, including good character and commitment 12 months out of the year.
“What I’m looking for this offseason is for the guys to put their games in perspective where they can,” Kayser said. “They need to help Boston College make a run [and] do better in our conference than we have in the past. We have a very strong golf conference with probably between four to six teams in the top 25. It’s making a splash. It’s about putting Boston College on the map this year.”