MACON, Ga. – As part of Golf Digest's second annual College Golf Guide, the Mercer men's golf program earned a designation as one of the nation's top golf programs.
Mercer was ranked 36th overall in the "Golf First" category and was the only Atlantic Sun Conference program in the top 50. The Bears ranked in the top 20 percent in two categories (team adjusted scoring average and academics) and in the top 30 percent in two others (climate and coaches/facilities).
The team adjusted scoring average spans the past four seasons and applies the formula used by the NCAA selection committee. Player growth was measured whether the players on the roster the past four years lowered their adjusted scoring average on a yearly basis and the team's combined improvement of decline.
A university's overall score from U.S. News & World Report's 2006 guidebook, America's Best Colleges, was used to measure academics. The Longitudes Group provided a 30-year average of playable days between Sept. 1 and May 31, which counted for the climate score. A measure of the coaches' experience and past performance and quality of campus-affiliated or available courses and practice facilities accounted for the coaches/facilities ranking.
"It is a good recognition for our golf program from the athletic and academic standpoint, and a great distinction for our university as well," said Mercer head coach Jason Payne. "It reflects from where we have been as a program and where we hope to go in the future. Being the only Atlantic Sun program ranked is a great honor."