MORTON, Ill. — He says he knew college golf was going to be different from anything he’d ever known.
And Tommy Kuhl was right.
“You go from high school golf where I felt like I was on top, you get to college golf and it’s a wake-up call,” Kuhl said.
The former Morton star went from being a record-setting state champ as a high school senior to a freshman just trying to crack the lineup at the University of Illinois. At times, he admits, the transition it was frustrating.
“I tried to take the positives out of it. I’m always trying to be positive,” Kuhl said. “Even at your down times, you have to be positive and learn from it.”
And it’s not just the tougher competition. Kuhl admits some of the biggest adjustments he had to make to college golf involved tougher golf courses, tougher classes and sticking to better nutrition.
“It takes so much time with workouts, coming out here and practicing, eating healthy,” said Kuhl. ” It’s a lot of stuff people don’t know. It’s like a job but I love it.”
An injury to a teammate allowed Kuhl to move into the Illinois lineup for the NCAA regionals. He helped the Illini advance to the national finals.
Now he’s playing in summer tournaments to better his ranking and improve his game. Kuhl’s goal is to be a bigger factor with the Illini next season.
“I like to say I want to be known as a college player, not as a junior player,” Kuhl said. “My goal is to play like a mature college player.”