Pearl River Hall of Famer revives golf program

by | Oct 6, 2021 | Golf Courses

POPLARVILLE, miss. (PRCC Athletics) – For the first time in more than a decade, Pearl River Community College will dust off its clubs and hit the links. The PRCC announced Tuesday that it had resumed its men’s golf program. In addition, the Wildcats plan to gradually build Mississippi’s only JUCO women’s golf team.

“With our high schools, golf has retained its popularity in the surrounding area. We’re constantly looking for ways to get students to Pearl River, find things to get involved in, and create moments, ”said Dr. Adam Breerwood, President of Pearl River. “We think the more we can offer students through athletics programs, clubs and organizations, the more they will support our institution for a lifetime.”

The Pearl River Board of Trustees formally approved the restoration of the Men’s Program and the creation of the Women’s Program during its monthly meeting on February 9th. The NJCAA soon approved the PRCC’s plans.

“It’s an exciting time at Pearl River Community College. We continue to grow under the leadership of Dr. Breerwood at a time when growth seems to be stagnating, ”said Scotty Fletcher, Pearl River Director of Athletics. “I would like to thank our Board of Trustees and our President Dr. Breerwood for the importance of bringing back a sport that means dear to our great state and our local community in particular. “

Pearl River joins the following MACCC schools that already have men’s programs: Copiah-Lincoln, East Mississippi, East Central, Hinds, Itawamba, Meridian, Mississippi Gulf Coast, Northeast, and Southwest.

NEW COACH Leading the new era of golf at Pearl River will be a household name among PRCC Hall of Fame members Coby Scarborough. The former All-Region 23 performer is a Class A PGA Professional at Millbrook Golf & Country Club, home of the Wildcats.

“It’s an honor,” said Scarborough of his new role at his alma mater. “Born and raised here in Picayune and raised at Millbrook Country Club it’s like a dream come true. I played golf here when I was growing up in high school and I was very lucky to play at Pearl River Community College and now I’m back to lead the program.

“I am very honored to give something back to the community that has given me a lot. College gave me a good life. “

Born in Picayune and a graduate of Picayune High, Scarborough was a prominent PRCC representative from 1994-1996. During that time, Scarborough received the All-Region 23 Awards under the direction of trainer Mike Humphreys in 1995 when the Wildcats won both the State and Region 23 titles. Along with two of their teammates, Anthony Lee and David Orgeron, the trio of Wildcats advanced to the national tournament in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Scarborough finished the competition in 22nd place after shooting 75 in the finals and 314 in the four-day event.

In the run-up to the national event in 1995, PRCC won three tournament championships: Meridian’s Eagle Invitational, Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Bulldog Invitational, and Hinds’ Eagle Invitational.

“Coby brings a lot to the table with its knowledge and experience. He’s a hometown person in the sense that he grew up in Picayune, graduated from Picayune High School, attended Pearl River and had great success here. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience, not only locally but also nationally, ”said Breerwood. “We always strive to hire people who understand what we are trying to do, both on and off the course. Coby checked all of these boxes for us.

“He will be a great addition to the Pearl River family.”

Scarborough attended Mississippi State University, where he studied marketing while enrolling in the rare professional golf management program. The former Wildcat began working as a pro on golf courses almost immediately, first as an assistant, then as chief golf pro and member director at the Club at Porto Cima in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. Scarborough recently returned to Pearl River County, where he is currently a pro golfer at Millbrook Golf & Country Club.

“Any time you can add a Hall of Fame player as a coach who really represents the maroon and gold, it’s a great day to be a wildcat,” said Fletcher. “When I met with Coach Scarborough, I knew immediately that we had the right person to lead the way when our student athletes master the game known as the ‘infallible test’. His energy, commitment to excellence, passion and vision for our golf program are second to none.

“There is no concern that Coach Scarborough will lift this program into its rightful place among our colleagues.”

HOME COURSE The Wildcats will call Millbrook Golf & Country Club home again. PRCC hopes the course will be added to the MACCC tournament rotation in the near future.

“It’s a conversation that has happened several times in the past year and a half,” said Breerwood. “We thought the time was ripe, and we are grateful to the management and their board that we were able to work out something where this will be our home game.”

The partnership between the program and the college was easy. Millbrook was founded in 1954 and has been a PRCC district institution for decades.

“There are a lot of current and former people going to Pearl River so why not try to expand our footprint and take it to Picayune and Millbrook to show people in our surrounding communities that we want to be a part of it . “Said Breerwood. “I felt there that there are a lot of people who have spent a lot of time on this campus. They always ask about college, want to be a part of it, and we want to bring college to them. “

VISION FOR PROGRAMS Scarborough recognizes that rebuilding a program from the ground up takes time. Given the talented area that is home to the Pine Belt and South Mississippi, Scarborough is optimistic that the Wildcats will be competitive sooner rather than later.

“But there are a lot of great golfers in this community,” he said. “These guys play golf around the clock, 365 days a year. You not only have the resources, but also the will and the drive. They have more talent in this region than pretty much anywhere else in the state. I am very lucky in this regard. This will be a great opportunity for us to showcase their talents. “

Scarborough said the plan with the women’s program is to add several female golfers each year until it can stand on its own. Early on, he said, women will be able to take part in men’s tournaments – they will only play from the women’s tees.

Overall, his certification and experience make Scarborough the right coach to help future Wildcats develop both on the pitch and in life.

“As well as being the golf coach, I’m also a PGA grade A golf pro so I can give lessons and criticize their game and take them to the next level,” he said. “You won’t just have one guy show up and drive you to tournaments in a van. They will acquire the skills to take them to the next level if they choose to. “

SCHEDULE The Wildcats will officially kick off the new era of the golf program in spring. The PRCC’s first event will be the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges’ fourth competition for the 2021-22 school year, February 21-22 at the Quail Hollow in Summit. PRCC will then play at Dancing Rabbit in Philadelphia, Mississippi, March 6-7. After competing at Northwood in Meridian March 21-22, the Wildcats will compete in the MACCC State Tournament at Wolf Hollow, Wesson, April 8-9. The Region 23 tournament will take place April 25-26 at Castlewoods, Jackson.

Scarborough is still working on the Wildcats’ first roster. Anyone interested in joining the program can contact him at [email protected].