PGA Golf Professional Hans Kersting Launches Women’s Golf Team at Cal State Los Angeles
With his new job as head women’s golf coach at Cal State Los Angeles, Hans Kersting is in a unique position. He’s leading a brand-new team and a new program for the university, literally building it from the ground up.
Kersting, a Valencia resident, is a PGA professional in his own right, having previously served as Director of Instruction, and Director of Golf at Woodland Hills Country Club in the San Fernando Valley for 16 years.
A native of Las Cruces, NM, he began playing golf at age eight, following his father, (a professor at New Mexico State University) around the links. Later, he gave up baseball and other sports in favor of golf. He played collegiately at the University of New Mexico, and in his sophomore year, he was, for a time, the second ranked Division I team in the country.
Kersting applied for the Cal State coaching position last summer after a friend, and fellow college golf coach, mentioned that the school was seeking someone to lead the new program.
“Like many other aspiring coaches out there, I just threw my name into the mix,” he says.
After six-weeks of interviews, he was chosen to be the one who would launch the new program.
“It’s a dream job,” he says. “Being a college golf coach is an opportunity that doesn’t present itself often, and it’s something that I’ve always been passionate about.”
Once on board, he immediately faced the challenges of starting a team.
“The program was brand new to the university, so I wasn’t stepping into a situation where I was handed a team,” he says. Walking into an empty office last July, there was no roster of players and the school year was scheduled to start in three weeks. There was no time to recruit players.
But he got the word out the modern way, by posting a notice on the university’s Facebook page. Interested parties with some golf experience were invited to meet with him, and from there he found the team’s first five players.
Since then, team building has continued at a brisk pace. Kersting says a top player has transferred to the university from a college in San Diego, and three or four highly touted recruits are coming to join the team in the fall.
The coach’s excitement is evident.
“Things are kind of rocking and rolling right now,” he says.
Launching the new program is not only significant for the university, it’s important to the other five teams in its conference, the California Collegiate Athletic Association, Division II.
The Cal State Los Angeles team is the sixth in the conference, which makes the conference eligible for NCAA championship play. The first conference championship will take place this April in Sonoma, California.
“Our addition is really helping to build the conference bigger and stronger and better,” says Kersting.
“We’re all learning together,” he adds, noting that his new position allows him to create a vision of where this program can go in the future.
“Every day that vision of how great we can become once we get the right pieces in place becomes clearer.”
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