'Noles Add Cole Anderson to Team
Our largest state school, Florida State University, in our state capital of Tallahassee, has a long and distinguished history of sports excellence. The Seminoles golf program has been in the upper echelon of Division 1 schools, competing for and winning national titles for decades.
Alumni from the FSU golf team are some of the greatest to have played the game including professional major champions Hubert Green, Paul Azinger, Jeff Sluman and current World #1 Brooks Koepka.
Recruiting in college golf is pretty fierce amongst the big time schools but FSU holds its own with its lofty reputation, great coaching staff and first class facilities. They draw from all over the world including the golf heavy state of Florida and grab their share of top notch prospects including John Pak who was just named to the US Walker Cup team.
That’s why it is unusual to see incoming red-shirt freshman Cole Anderson, one of the only ten man team, on the roster. Anderson is from, wait for it….Maine.
Camden, on the mid-coast of Maine where Anderson lives, has a golf season charitably described as May to October and is not known for producing high level golfers. Maine’s most famous golfer is Mark Plummer, an amateur liquor salesman who took Tiger Woods to 18 holes in the semifinal of the 1995 US Amateur at Newport Country Club before losing 2-up. That was no fluke however since Plummer has won the Maine Amateur 13 times and the club championship at Augusta (ME) Country Club 38 times.
Anderson, who committed to FSU after his sophomore year in high school, just won his first Maine Am in 2019 by a whopping eight shots after two close calls in 2017 and 2018. “This is as bad as I’ve ever wanted to win a golf tournament,” said Anderson, who already had three Class A high school titles, multiple junior wins and the 2018 MSGA Match Play crown on his resume. “I really don’t like losing. I hate losing, and the last two years, to feel like I had not only a legitimate shot but a shot that I should have pulled it out, to come back and not only win, but win by a good amount, it feels pretty good.”
That burning desire has been with Anderson from his earliest competitive endeavors. “My mom always tells me that she would remember me complaining about kids on my hockey team, that I didn’t think they worked hard enough, and how did they expect to get to the NHL if they didn’t work hard?” Anderson said.
Anderson, 18, laughs when he tells the story. But he’s never laughed at the concept of having big goals. “I’ve always had what some people would call extreme aspirations,” he said.
Those aspirations include going on to play the PGA Tour but first things first for Anderson and that is Florida State. He finished high school early so he could come to Tallahassee for the spring semester to acclimate to FSU and the golf program. While in Florida he teed it up in a couple singles events winning the Florida Azalea in Palatka and finishing T-5 at the Terracotta at Naples National.
A finance major, he also took to college life. “I loved Tallahassee. Loved the campus and really enjoyed the guys on the team,” he said.
He will need to compete with those guys to play in college team events. It is a week to week process in determining which five players (out of 10) who get to play with the best four scores counting. There are also opportunities to play singles in some events.
Anderson not only likes his chances but the team’s as well. “We have a really solid team. The guys have all had a decent summer. The young guys have gotten better and the juniors and seniors know how to win,” he said.
Head FSU golf coach Trey Jones, who scouted Anderson at Florida junior events in Tampa and Miami likes what he sees in Anderson. “He is really mature for his age, really intelligent,” he says. “He can put the ball in the fairway off the tee which always helps.”
Jones thinks Anderson can be a contributor right away. “Our top guys, our upper classmen, can compete with anybody so often times the margin in winning team matches comes down to the three, four and five guy,” he explained. “ I see Cole having a chance to be a difference maker.”