Matt Giles

High School: Caringbah High School
Home Club: The Australian GC
College: University of Southern Cal.  (Jan'08 - June'10)
Course of Study/ Major: Business
Current Occupation: Financial Services Product Manager

Giles, Matt

High School: Caringbah High School
Home Club: The Australian GC
College: University of Southern Cal.  (Jan'08 - June'10)
Course of Study/ Major: Business
Current Occupation: Financial Services Product Manager

Giles, Matt

Why did you choose to pursue the US College pathway over other potential pathway options?
I wanted to play in The States from a young age. Watching the PGA Tour on TV and having aspirations to play pro golf at that level. I thought going down the collegiate system path would be a good medium to achieve that and the experience playing golf day-in-day about and competing against the best, knowing the quality and the depth in the system is pretty phenomenal. If you look at the players who come out of college in recent years, you’ll see how ready to win at the highest level they are.

How were you recruited (Contacted directly by US Coaches, did my own recruiting, utilised a Recruitment Agency)?
When I won the Junior worlds, it opened up a lot of opportunities. A lot of coaches reached out. I was a little unsure whether I wanted to go or not. A bit of that was not as many people had gone prior.

What were your greatest memories of being a Student/Athlete at US College?
Its such an incredible life, thousands of students living within a couple of miles of one another. When you are on campus, you have that camaraderie, especially being a student athlete you know all the other athletes on other sports teams. It’s such a great way, as I said people form all over the world, you meet some incredible people.

College game days. My first home game I went to, and USC had an amazing football team, had 98 000 people in the stadium. picture the MCG on grand final day, that is college every Saturday when the football was on.

Being part of a four man golf tea was pretty special too.

What were some of the challenges you faced during your time at US College? How did you overcome these challenges?
It’s important to stay on and finish your degree. I left a bit early, and got a card on the secondary tour in the US. It worked out OK for me, but I look at in hindsight, its important to stay on get your degree, its going to be valuable for people down the track in their lives.

The biggest one is time management. A lot of people struggle when selecting their Major, work with your student advisor so you are mapping out your path to graduate. Make sure your ar ticking off the classes to get your degree.

How did US College prepare you for your career?
I turned Pro in 2010 and had status on the US Secondary Tour straight away. The College experience competing held me in good stead to play professional golf.and I played on the US, Asia and Australian Tour up until 2017.

What advice/tips/recommendations would you provide to anybody considering going to US College?
When looking at selecting a college, also remember the coach is going to play such a huge role in your development and ultimately enjoyment of College, Throughout the recruitment process try and engage with as many coaches as possible.

Location is important too, remember in some places for four months of the year you are under snow. If you can play outdoors 12 months a year it’s an advantage too. these days though so many colleges have such amazing facilites so it’s not as big an issue.

What you want to study and what the school is recognised for is important, too. Not too many people make a living playing professional golf, it is an extremely difficult career. If you are intending on going to College, look through it of the lens of going to get a degree and then see what golf has in store for you after that. Find a school which can provide you a varying spectrum of courses for your career development.

What (if any) are the common traps/pitfalls/mistakes people make in the recruitment process or when selecting to pursue the US College Pathway as their desired option?

The SAT is different to the HSC. so remember you need to study a science.

Take what the coach says at face value, but do your research during the recruiting.

The biggest downfall, I think, is people believing that not getting into a DIV I school means College isn’t for them. There are plenty of ways to get to that level, it could mean Jnr College or Div 1A.. if you don’t get into a DIV I college it doesn’t’t mean you should write it off. If your grades are OK and your playing good, there are plenty of chances to transfer to a bigger, more prestigious schools.

Academic & Playing Achievements

Subjects studied in years 11 & 12:
Maths, English, Business Studies, Physics, Human Movement & German

What was your SAT score?
Mid 1300’s

GA handicap when you departed for US College:
+1 or +2 

Best tournament results prior to departing for US College:
Junior World Cup Rep, Claire Hinson Trophy Rep. 2006 World Junior Champion, NSW Junior 2006.

What was your highest representative golfing honour in Australia?
NSW State Team, Aust Jnr Team 06/07, Four Nations Cup Rep (Australia)

Highest WAGR and/or Australian National Ranking prior to departing to US College?
National: Top two Jnr 

Please list some of your US College golfing/academic achievements:

  • All-American Freshman Yr
  • Sophomore Year 1st team All-American
  • Pac 10 Conference player of the Year 
  • All-Nicklaus Team
  • Ben Hogan Award Semi-Finalist

NEWS: Golf NSW High Performance

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