Sept. 29, 2004
Jacob Davis, a life-long Seminole fan, sat down with seminoles.com after completing his first event as a member of the Florida State men’s golf team. Read what the junior had to say about the Seminoles’ potential, shooting a career-best 61 in high school and his desire to win a national championship during his career in Tallahassee.
What was your first impression about Florida State and its golf program?
My first impression of the golf program at Florida State was that there was a great facility in place at the team had a lot of potential but that it just didn’t have the motivation to be as great as it should be. I wasn’t sure what was missing but it just seemed like it had all the opportunities in the world, but it just wasn’t clicking. I felt that with the new coach coming in that it would be a great opportunity for me to come to Tallahassee and excel on the golf course and in the class room. My initial impression was that the program was going to improve, starting when Coach Jones came, and so far, that’s been the case.
How will winning the Division 1 NJCAA championship help you at FSU?
I really don’t think it’s going to help me too much. It’s just another tournament, obviously a national tournament, but it gave me confidence that I could win a national championship here at Florida State. I don’t really see it as anything that’s going to affect the way I do things, or my transition from junior college to Florida State is going to affect my game.
Do you think it will be a hard transition from Junior College to Division 1?
I think the hardest part so far is that it’s been a much different atmosphere. I don’t think the transition has been hard. I think it’s an awesome opportunity that I’ve been blessed with and I’m enjoying it. I came to Florida State because I wanted to be with people that are going to force me to compete and I want to improve. I want to be the best player in the world some day. The only way I can do that is through losing, through learning, and through hard times. Eventually all of my hard work will pay off.
What do you think are you strengths and weaknesses as a golfer?
I’d say my greatest strength is that I try to stay at the same level at all times. I don’t try to get too excited and I don’t try to get too down on myself. I always try to stay on an even keel, and just try to stay positive. When things do go bad, I bow up and take care of business.
What is your best round of golf in competition (score)?
I shot a 61 during my junior year of high school on my home course.
Are you expecting to come into FSU as a leader for the team, or as a role player?
Through my actions I want to become a team leader. I want to let other people see the way I act, and I want them to follow. I want them to be the best they can be through me. Obviously, I’m not going to be perfect all the time, but I try not to think about that too much. I just try to be myself and do what I can do and whatever characteristics of a leader or role player comes out of that, will be just fine with me.
What goals have you set for yourself at FSU?
My long term goal is that I want to be able, develop the ability, and have the confidence to play on the PGA tour. My short term goal is to lead our team through the season, continue to improve, and have a positive outlook on everything, no matter if it’s good or bad, a tournament, or any kind of situation. Another goal is to win the national championship, of course. How awesome would it be to come out and win the national championship after ten years of not really too good of a record here at Florida State? My high school hadn’t been to the state championship tournament in 25 years, and we achieved that goal during my junior year. We might not have won state, but we got there, and it would just be a nice thing to get to nationals as a team during my career as a Seminole. For a personal goal, I would like to win the NCAA’s either as a team or individually and be able to say that I won the JUCO and the NCAA national championship. That would just be a blessing and it would be awesome, just awesome.
At what age did you start playing golf?
I started playing golf in eighth grade. I believe I was 12 years old. I started playing in the back yard with some of my friends. We started tearing up the grass so much that my step father told me that he was taking me to the golf course. Every day after that, he’d pick us up from school, drop us off and we’d play until dark. Since then, it has kept me out of trouble. I’ve loved the game since I picked up a club.
Do you feel any pressure to perform at a high level right away?
To a certain extent, I feel like I do because I want so badly for this team to be successful. I’ve had to remind myself that I just need to play the way I play and my game will show itself. I guess you can say that there is pressure there to perform, but on the other hand, I realize that that’s not how it works. It’s not all about pressure. Pressure is what I love; pressure is one reason why I play. I love to feel nervous and to have that feeling is what I like and what I want. I think a lot of people have excuses about pressure hurting you and that nervousness is bad. I think that it should help you, and I don’t think that you need to fail because of pressure. I think you just need to fight through the pressure, come out on top, and be strong through it all.
What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment to date as a golfer?
I think as a golfer, there’s two instances I think have been highlights. First, when I shot 61, it was an awesome feeling, I’d never felt like that before in my life. Second, when I won the national championship it was just a total wake up call to all the hard work I put into it. Winning the championship was great because it felt like all of my hard work had paid off. I think both of those times are just equally important to me in my outlook on my golf career. I just think of them both as the equal and it’s just hard to explain both of them and the way I felt. I’d have to say those are the two things that I’ve really enjoyed the most out of golf. Everyday I love to just go out there and practice on my own. That’s what I love about golf. You can just go out, and you don’t have to practice with a bunch of people who are going to be talking to you. It’s all about focus, and it’s all about being by yourself. It’s just you, the ball, the club, and swinging. I just love to go out there and practice on my own, have some time to myself, and try to do my best.