An assignment in his “Sports Economics” class turned into a career-defining opportunity for Alex Blickle ’15, who fused his interests in statistics, economics and golf to improve his game, driving him to pursue the sport he loves professionally.
His paper examined the statistics embraced by the PGA Tour to determine which aspects of the game have the most influence on money earned. The project was a natural fit for Blickle, a double major in mathematics and economics from Wernersville, Pennsylvania, who is also a four-year member of the Lords’ resurgent golf team.
“What I found was that improving your driving distance was the most deterministic factor of improving your overall golf ability,” said Blickle, who utilized those results to tailor his own approach to the sport.
“I used to spend a ton of time trying to dial in my irons, and now I spend significantly more time in the weight room,” he said. “Putting was also an important factor, so it wasn’t like I abandoned other areas of my game. But now, 90 percent of my practice is set on weight lifting, honing in on my swing with driver, and putting.”
The adjustments paid off for Blickle who, during his senior season, led the Lords in scoring averaging (74.61), nailed down seven top-10 finishes and captured medalist honors in two tournaments. He also steered the Lords to their second-straight North Coast Athletic Conference runner-up finish.
“It’s been a long road, for sure,” he added. “But it’s also been exciting and fun. We went from just trying to get to tournaments my sophomore year to winning them this year.”
Blickle maintains that it’s important to compare his personal statistics to PGA Tour averages, so that he can identify his weak points and correct them. In the future, those Tour statistics might become more meaningful for Blickle, who will turn pro this summer and play on three mini-tours in Orlando, Florida.
“I’m definitely ready for the next step,” he said. “I feel like I can not only compete, but win and find a lot of success on those tours. The education I’ve obtained here has given me the confidence to go after this dream.”