Justin Brown, GS Golf Course Head Golf Professional, named Georgia PGA South Chapter Teacher and Coach of the Year Award
Justin Brown, Georgia Southern University Golf Course PGA Head Golf Professional, recently received the 2023 Georgia PGA South Chapter Teacher and Coach of the Year Award from the Georgia PGA.
“I am honored to receive the Georgia PGA South Chapter Teacher and Coach of the Year award. This award means a lot to me for the simple fact that I am doing something I am truly passionate about: teaching all age groups about the game that means so much to me,” Brown said. “Being nominated by my fellow Professionals is truly humbling and means more to me than they will ever know.”
Brown was recognized during the Georgia PGA’s annual awards banquet held at the Mercedes Benz Stadium on February 10, 2024.
Brown would like to thank his Wife (Chandler) and kids (Arlen and Noah) for allowing him the time and effort to become a better Golf Professional each and every day and Georgia Southern Golf Course for allowing him to help the youth, students, and patrons grow in the game that means so much to him and others alike.
Brown has been a PGA Class A Member since September of 2019.
Shooting Sports Assistant Coach, Cassy Pelton, takes athlete to Argentina to compete in the 2023 Pan Am Field Archery Championships.
Cassy Pelton joined the Shooting Sports Education Center (SSEC) in 2018 as the Head Archery Coach before being promoted to Assistant Director in 2023. During her time here, she has had the opportunity to work with and train several student athletes – Martin Holzman being one of them.
Martin has been shooting archery with the SSEC since 2017, coming up through our JOAD program, joining Eagle Creek Archery and has been working with Cassy as his coach for 5 years. Together, they traveled to Argentina to compete in the USA Archery Pan Am Championships – an event that hasn’t been held in 40 years.
Cassy said, “This event was an experience I will never forget. I was very proud to be wearing Team USA’s colors. Moreover, I could not be more proud of how my personal athlete, Martin, performed. Not only did he come away with two Bronze medals in his first ever international event, he proved himself to be a strong-willed and tenacious young man. He had his fair share of challenges the entire week, but never allowed them to get him down.”
Cassy continues, “events like these are always inspiring. From my experiences competing and now coaching internationally, I have found that this sport brings out the best in people. We don’t always speak the same language, or even share the same cultural experiences, but we share the same passion and spirit. Archery is what unites us. No matter what’s going on in the world we share that common ground. To be able to share that experience with an athlete I have watched grow is probably the coolest thing I have ever done.”
The competition location really pushed all athletes to their limits. Archers walked two courses in virgin jungle over five days of competition.
Day one of qualifications was unknown distance day. Archers estimated distances on 24 targets, shooting 3 arrows per target. As if that wasn’t challenging enough, it was raining the entire first day of qualifications. Difficult terrain became treacherous with mud. Equipment became unwieldy and heavy with water.
Day two of qualifications was known distance day. Archers shot on different courses where all distances were marked. Though the previous day had been stormy, this day was very hot and humid. Unfortunately it was not quite hot enough to dry out all the mud from the previous day so the terrain was still difficult to navigate.
“Archery is what unites us.”SSEC Assistant Director, Cassy Pelton
Day three was mixed team and full team competitions. Mixed team included two athletes from the same country, same bow type but different gender. Archers shot four targets, two arrows each. The team shot 4 arrows in total. Full team included 3 athletes from the same country, same gender, but different bow types. Each team consisted of a compound shooter, an Olympic recurve shooter and a barebow shooter. Archers shot 4 targets, one arrow per athlete, three arrows in total per target. Both mixed team and full team matches ran all the way through medal matches.
Day four was individual elimination matches. Archers shot head to head in thru a six target range, three arrows per target. The highest scoring athlete at the end of the match moved on and the lowest scoring athlete was eliminated. Athletes competed all the way through the semi-final matches.
Day five was all Bronze and Gold individual medal matches. All of these matches were held at the finals venue at a nearby hotel.
Written by Caroline Boykin
The Georgia Southern University Shooting Sports Education Center (SSEC) takes a personalized approach to each individual wishing to sharpen their shooting or archery skills.
Katlyn Sullivan attended a Women’s Rifle team’s match hosted at the SSEC when she was in middle school, and immediately knew she wanted to take lessons in rifle shooting. Not even 12 months into her training with Ashley MacAllister, the assistant director of the SSEC and rifle coach, Katlyn has qualified for the Junior Olympics in the air rifle division.
Sullivan’s family reached out to the SSEC to obtain private rifle lessons from MacAllister to prepare her for her school’s upcoming rifle team tryouts. Sullivan quickly became invested in the program offerings at the Shooting Sports Education Center.
“We are really fortunate to get to see our participants grow in their confidence levels and expand their skill set,” MacAllister believes.
MacAllister created a personalized shooting lesson plan for Sullivan, beginning with an eye dominance test. The eye dominance test allowed MacAllister to determine that Sullivan was actually better suited for a left-handed rifle despite being right-hand dominant. From there, Sullivan worked weekly with MacAllister to improve her technique, precision and shooting positions.
Sullivan achieved her initial goal of making her school’s rifle team. Her ambition and drive gave her a new goal: the Junior Olympics. MacAllister and Sullivan continued their lessons, shooting weekly on electronic targets similar to the ones used at the Junior Olympics. The Shooting Sports Education Center is the only range in the Statesboro area equipped with electronic targets.
Initially, MacAllister provided Sullivan with highly structured lessons, educating her on the parts of a firearm, cleaning a firearm and positioning her firearm. After Sullivan mastered the basics, MacAllister challenged Sullivan to develop skills on her own and verbalize what she felt needed the most improvement during lessons.
“I do practice matches sometimes, but I like to also shoot what I feel I need to improve on until it is worked out,” Sullivan said.
MacAllister and the SSEC allow participants to define their own goals and take an active role in their lesson planning. The SSEC also works to give students a sense of confidence that they can carry with them in their day-to-day lives.
“The SSEC has given me the ability to focus through things because in the public range when other people shoot you learn to tune them out and focus on yourself,” Sullivan explained. “During school tests now I have gotten better at staying focused and tuning everything else out too.”
Sullivan plans to attend the Junior Olympics in the air rifle category in Hillsdale, Michigan and will continue learning and growing under MacAllister at the SSEC.
The SSEC is one of two collegiate shooting education centers in the United States of America and prides itself on teaching the community to safely handle and use firearms and bows. If you’re interested in scheduling a private firearm or archery lesson, contact the SSEC at 912-478-7732 or visit the Shooting Sports webpage at GeorgiaSouthern.edu/SSEC.
Written by Caroline Boykin
Club sports on the Georgia Southern campus are student-led and student-run organizations, hosted through Campus Recreation.
With over 20 club sports to choose from, students wishing to play a club sport have a myriad of options. Club sports are less practice-intense than traditional athletic teams but are more competitive than intramural sports.
Participating in club sports has helped students grow personally and professionally, make friends from a variety of majors and deepen their sense of belonging in the university community.
“I have made some lifelong friends and made some very memorable experiences in my last three years in the run club, which I am grateful for,” Darwin Singleton, the president of the running club, said. “I also learned having social groups outside of the class can alleviate stress, which consequently drives more success in the classroom.”
Many club sports take part in tournaments against other universities, allowing students to travel all around the southeast and even across the country for games.
“I had no idea students played dodgeball out of high school, then fast forward a few months and I am in Ohio at a tournament with my team,” Sam Ursey, president of the dodgeball team, said. “Being in a club sport allows me to explore outside of Statesboro and build connections with students at other universities across the United States.”
Club sports give students on the Georgia Southern campus unique, meaningful experiences. Students gain a community of students with similar interests and passions, while having a fun outlet for physical activity.
Campus Recreation invites all university students to drop-in to the club sports fair January 18 at 6 p.m. to learn more about the 26 different club sports offered.
Written by Caroline Boykin
A disc golf course is coming to the Armstrong Campus of Georgia Southern University!
Nestled among the woods south of the tennis complex, the new 9-hole disc golf course provides the Armstrong campus community with a fun and challenging new sport on campus. “We are excited to offer another fun engagement opportunity for our students, faculty, staff and community on campus,” says Campus Recreation and Intramurals (CRI) Armstrong Director, Megan Feasel.
The 9-hole disc golf course gives players two playing options in the form of a short course and a long course. Each hole has two tee pads allowing players the opportunity to play each course independently or mix-and-match for a full 18-hole round. A practice area is also available to allow students to warm up before hitting the course.
This disc golf course is open to students, faculty, staff and the general public, making it a game for the entire Savannah community. CRI hopes this disc golf course gives students a fun, exciting new way to spend time with friends and enjoy the outdoors. The course will be open from sunrise to sunset every day, and those with an Eagle ID can check out equipment from the Armstrong Recreation Center (ARC). There is no cost to play.
Campus Recreation and Intramurals invites the Armstrong community to celebrate the opening of the new disc golf course on November 9 from 3 to 5 p.m. Players are encouraged to bring their own equipment, but CRI will have equipment on hand for those who would like to try out the course.