Sept. 22, 2011
Heading into his final season at Notre Dame, men’s golfer Tom Usher has already compiled a list of achievements throughout his career. An All-BIG EAST Conference selection as a sophomore in 2010 and a BIG EAST Player of the Month in October of 2010, Tom has certainly played key role in the program’s success. As the team prepares for the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic beginning Monday (Sept. 26), the first European golfer to play for Notre Dame (he is a native of Baildon, England), sat down with UND.com’s Sean Kaveney to tell us more about himself.
Why did you decide to come to Notre Dame?
I decided to come to Notre Dame because off the coaching staff, athletic department and atmosphere on campus.
What is the most difficult part of being a student-athlete at Notre Dame?
The most difficult part of being a student-athlete at Notre Dame is the self-restraint and discipline needed not to go out with friends most nights.
What made you get into golf initially?
What got me into golf initially was that I had three hernia surgeries and couldn’t play soccer any longer at a high level.
Did you grow up as a Fighting Irish fan?
Far from it, I hadn’t heard of Notre Dame until I was 16.
North or South Dining Hall?
Without a doubt South, North is too confusing.
What is your major and why did you pick it?
My major is finance. I came in as a physics major, but the labs and thought of having to do a chemistry course made me look for something else, and I enjoy the finance classes and am interested in the markets.
Where is your favorite place to study on campus?
My favorite place to study on campus used to be the O’Neill study lounge but since I moved off campus I go for the fourth floor of the library where I can’t be found.
How do you feel your game has changed or developed since coming in as a freshman?
I’ve definitely put on length off the tee and I’ve honed in my wedge game in recent years. The biggest thing though has been the self-belief and ability to perform extremely well when I need to.
What is the last song you listened to?
“The Thrill” by Wiz Khalifa
What do you miss most about your hometown?
The thing that I muss most about my hometown is my family and home golf course. My mum and dad get to come out to the states a lot to watch me play, which is great, but I don’t get to see my sister for more than five weeks a year which is far less than I would like.
What are your other hobbies outside of golf?
I like to ski. I haven’t been since I started at Notre Dame, but when I graduate I’m going to get back into it. I don’t mind beating my teammates at tennis once in a while too.
If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
If you could give on piece of advice to an aspiring golfer, what would it be?
The one piece of advice that I would give an aspiring golfer would be to never ever give up or put a limit on how good you can be.
What career do you intend to pursue when you are done competing for Notre Dame?
Either playing golf or working in investment/consulting. If I’m honest, I have no idea where I’ll be.
If you hadn’t chosen to play golf, is there another sport you would have liked to play?
I would have liked to play soccer. I love to play and was raised playing the game. This summer when I played a game of pick up with some of the guys on Irish men’s soccer team, I got put in my place.
Favorite pregame meal?
Depends if I’m teeing off in the morning or the afternoon, but the night before I like to eat chicken pasta.
Of all the golf courses that you have played during your life which has been your favorite?
Pebble Beach in the United States and Royal Birkdale in Europe. They’re so different that it is hard to compare.
What has been your favorite memory of Notre Dame so far?
Tough question because there have been so many. My first Thanksgiving and being taken in by Max’s (Scodro) family is one that stands out. They made to make me feel so welcome and made me feel less homesick in my first semester in the States.
Do you have a favorite professional sports team?
My favorite professional sports team is the Detroit Lions; Ndamukong Suh is the man.
Do any specific tournaments that you have competed in during your career here stand out in your memory?
The one shot loss that we suffered as a team at the BIG EAST in 2010 stands out for me as one of the most disappointing and motivating. My first solo career title at Bayonet last fall and the way I won will stay with me for a long time.
— ND —