Meet Tyler Graham
Tyler Graham, junior at HRSM, talks woodworking, Gamecock Disc Golf, and how to get the most out of USC student club organizations.
Name: Tyler Graham
Major: Sport and Entertainment Management (SPTE)
Hometown: Richmond, Virginia
What are five things people may know about Tyler Graham?
- I am passionate about food and cooking.
- My favorite television channels consist of the ESPN family of networks, Discovery, History, Food, and Travel channels.
- My license plate is “BE-MELLO.”
- In high school I thought about pursuing a career in woodworking and specialty furniture and maybe someday I can pursue that dream.
- I believe in balance in life; it encourages calmness and spawns success.
Tell us about the Gamecock Disc Golf.
USC Disc Golf Club launched in 2008. It was stated by Alan Kane, a former SPTE student, and a few other local USC students who enjoyed playing disc golf. By forming a club, South Carolina has joined in the movement towards building up disc golf as a full-on collegiate sport. It has already grown in our state from five schools in its first year to more than 30 today. The growth projection this year is close to 80 teams from 40 different schools.
Our USC disc golf club currently consists of 12 members and is coached by disc golf Hall of Famer, Alan Beaver (PDGA #1213). Our extremely helpful faculty advisor is Dr. Gerdes of iIT. I joined USC disc golf club my freshman year thanks to the encouragement of a few friends and I am now the club president.
What are some of your more memorable experiences so far with Gamecock Disc Golf?
I’ll never forget my first disc golf tournament: the Collegiate National Championships that took place in the spring of 2010. In fall of 2011, shortly after I was named team captain, Gamecock disc golf won the South East Collegiate Open, one of the biggest qualifiers for Collegiate Nationals and the second largest collegiate tournament overall. In October of 2011, I placed 32nd at the United States Disc Golf Championship. This summer, I plan to compete in the largest-ever PDGA World Championships taking place in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Equate disc golf to education.
Both teach and refine you as an individual. Learning never ceases in terms of formal education and the same is true in disc golf. Both constantly teach you new things about yourself, others and the world around you.
I have made some great friends through the USC disc golf club. As club president, I have learned what it takes to run an organization and how to coordinate with others. This experience is shaping how I lead and it also has made me a more driven individual. I compete not for the chance to beat others, but more so the chance to beat myself and define who I am and who I will be.
Any advice for other USC students that want to pursue student organizations?
Absolutely get involved. Being in a student organization has changed my life. My only word of caution is don’t become overly involved. Pick one or two things and fully participate. Not only will the organizations benefit more but so will you. The expression of “you get what you put in” definitely applies to student organizations. Clubs at USC will help define your future and, as my Coach, Alan Beaver has said to me many times, “It’s what you do next that matters. All you can do is be better on the next shot and take things one shot at a time”.
What’s next after graduation?
My life is currently immersed in education and the sport of golf. I work at a local golf course and have had numerous jobs and an internship in the sport. A long-term goal of mine is to use golf as a way for me to transfer into disc golf down the road once the sport has grown and is more monetarily feasible as a career. I also have aspirations of getting into coaching. Besides disc golf, basketball would be my next sports coaching preference, as it is one of my other passions in life. I am currently pursuing an internship or job experience in that area of expertise in order to diversify my resume and skills.
How can others learn more about getting involved with Gamecocks Disc Golf?
Currently we operate through our Facebook Group: Gamecock Disc Golf. We practice during the fall and spring semesters most Fridays at 2pm at Owens Field Park. The club email is email@example.com. If you are interested in the club or learning more about the sport feel free to message the club on Facebook or by email.