Nice campus and mum’s influence led Aussie to GC
After traveling from Australia with plans to play golf in the U.S., international student Bailey Scifleet has found his niche at GC, both on and off the courses.
Once Scifleet decided he wanted to travel to the U.S., he began to search for ways to become recognized by American coaches.
“I put together a YouTube video of my swing, made a resume, then started contacting coaches myself,” Scifleet said.
Scifleet first attended Central Alabama Community College in order to earn enough credits to transfer. After being introduced to GC by his coach, Scifleet traveled to Milledgeville to decide if it was the right fit.
“I brought my mum because she was in America, and we came over here, and she basically said I was an idiot if I didn’t come here because of how nice the campus was,” Scifleet said.
Because his location made frequent visits difficult, Scifleet relied on first impressions and his instinct as he decided which school would be his future home.
“I had to just make my best judgment on what I had heard and whether or not I liked the coach,” Scifleet said. “I think that was the biggest thing.”
Head coach Pat Garrett also believed Scifleet was a good fit for the golf team.
“He gelled really well with our current guys,” Garrett said. “Bailey’s the kind of person that can pretty much get along with anybody.”
Scifleet quickly accommodated to life at GC and befriended fellow teammate and team captain Jake Minchew.
“We all came a few days early to play and meet each other,” Minchew said. “[Scifleet] was hilarious off the bat and always has been. We love him.”
A junior accounting major, Scifleet said there are a few major differences between colleges in Australia and the U.S.
“The degrees in Australia are more geared towards what you’re studying rather than taking those general classes at the start,” Scifleet said. “I was coming out of high school thinking I’d never have to take another English class again, but here I am, still writing essays.”
Other than the variations in university coursework, Scifleet said there’s little else that’s different between the U.S. and Australia.
“I would say it’s America’s little brother,” Scifleet said.
Before coming to the U.S., Scifleet finished high school and decided to take a gap year. Along with practicing golf, he worked at a commercial real estate firm and at a boutique building golf clubs.
“All my spare time was spent practicing, trying to get over here,” Scifleet said.
Tiger Woods is Scifleet’s favorite player, but it was his dad who introduced Scifleet to the sport.
“He tried to convince me, year after year … I was like, ‘Nah, that’s an old man sport,’ but then I picked it up one day, and it was awesome, and I found all these new friends,” Scifleet said. “I haven’t looked back.”
Scifleet said he is open to the possibility of remaining in the U.S. after graduation if he receives a job offer. For now, however, Scifleet is focused on golf, his friends and making it to graduation: “Right now, the opportunities are endless.”
Photo courtesy of GC Sports Information