‘Never a dull moment’
Chattanooga's Chris Robb reflects as collegiate career ends
HUTCHINSON, Kan. -- Chattanooga's Chris Robb remembers when he was introduced to golf. When he was about five years old, growing up in Scotland, his family would often bring him along to the course to play a family round. Robb hated those days.
“I guess because I was a young one, I had to do what my brother did,” he said.
Unfortunately for young Robb, his brother loved golf.
Five-year-old Robb would've been thrilled if somebody from the future came and told him that a decade later, he and his family would move out of the house next to the course.
When the time came to move, the roles had long been switched. Robb was a blossoming golfer, and had been since about seven years old. He played as long and as often as summer days allowed. His father and brother spent dwindling time on the links. Behind the resurgence was learning the game from his grandparents, and playing by himself instead of with his older brother.
“From a very young age I was out there every single day at the golf course,” he said. “I tried do that every summer.”
His parents stayed connected to golf, but as Robb's No. 1 fans. They drove him around the country and paid for his tournament fees. As he grew up, they didn't force him to play tournaments he didn't want to, unlike the family outings at the course when he was younger. Robb said they let him make his own decisions when it came to golf, fostering his self-motivated personality.
“I know a lot of players whose parents are very forceful, who make them go out and do this. My parents not doing that made me want to do it myself,” he said.
The only time they were forceful was when a tournament got in the way of his education. The Robb household places high importance on an education.
“I'm kind of glad because it gives you something to fall back on. I went to college for that exact reason,” he said.
Despite living in Scotland his whole life, he was sought after by three Division I schools: Michigan State, Missouri and Chattanooga. He visited all three, but decided to sign with coach Mark Guhne and the Mocs. Robb saw Tennessee as a golfing paradise after growing up on the northeastern coast of Scotland.
“The weather is a lot more consistent there. Scotland can have up to four seasons in one day,” he said. “We have pretty much all year round golf. The courses we play are amazing.”
In four years, Robb's established himself as one of the program's all-time greats. He's the first golfer from Chattanooga to reach the NCAA championships as an individual since 1993. The individual appearance at Prairie Dunes is only the second time in Moc's golf history.
He's as good in the classroom as he is on the course, too. Robb's made his school's dean's list (3.5 GPA or above) all four years.
He left Hutchinson on Monday afternoon after failing to advance in the individual's tournament; it was his last collegiate event. He plans on turning professional after playing preparation events this summer in Scotland, he said. He's not done traveling anytime soon as he plans on trying to qualify for the European PGA Tour. If that doesn't pan out, he'll try his hand at qualifying for the Asian PGA Tour. One day, he hopes to return to America for the PGA Tour.
“I'd love to play here, and I want to come back,” he said.
If he doesn't return anytime soon, he'll always cherish his memories from the last four years at Chattanooga.
“I'll miss Chattanooga incredibly, like so much. I've been with the same guys the last four years and living the same place the last four years,” he said. “I'll miss the camaraderie. It was never a dull moment.”