BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - If there ever was a time in which Ryan Davis “being in the right place at the right time” truly worked in his favor, it came in the summer of 2013.
Davis, a Governor Livingston senior golfer who’s preparing for his final high school season, was participating in a golf outing. It just so happened that Penn State head golf coach Greg Nye was at the same outing.
The funny part of this story is that Nye did not go to the outing with the intentions of watching Davis. Nye was there for another recruit.
Davis went about business as usual and took a few shots at the outing. Those few shots impressed Nye so much that Nye immediately approached Davis at the event and vowed to keep in touch with him.
Fast forward two years later to August of 2015, and Davis received a scholarship offer from Nye to come play golf for his program.
Davis didn’t need much time to ponder the offer. Two weeks later, Davis accepted Nye’s offer to come to Penn State and recently signed his national letter-of-intent. Davis chose Penn State over offers from other schools such as Rutgers, Loyola Maryland, Maryland, and Virginia.
Davis is not second-guessing his decision to golf for the Nittany Lions one bit.
“I’m very excited in general for the opportunity to continue my golf career at Penn State,” Davis said. “I love the coaches up there, the guys on the team are very nice, and I just loved the overall feel to the campus.”
The fact that Nye’s program consistently ranks in the top 25 nationally also played a role in Davis’ decision.
“The program at Penn State has been doing very well,” Davis said. “As of now, the program ranks 19th I believe and have been getting good recruits over the years. The team has a very good future which is huge for me and my development.”
Davis has done a nice job developing during his time at Governor Livingston. Davis has been among the top performers for the Highlanders the past few years and has won three consecutive individual Union County Tournament championships.
While the past three years have been nothing short of spectacular for him and his team, Davis believes this upcoming season can be even better. Governor Livingston fans should not only expect an even better season for the team, but a better overall golfer in Davis.
Davis spent this past summer training at Ben Shear Golf in Scotch Plains. Davis used his time at Ben Shear to not only fine-tune his swing but also build his physical strength.
Davis spent a lot of time working out at Ben Shear because he’s not the type of athlete to rest on his laurels. He’s constantly looking for ways to improve which is a trait his high school coach loves about him.
“I’ve enjoyed watching Ryan improve his game and become more successful over the past few years,” Governor Livingston head coach Sharon Leahy said. “I know next year he’ll continue to impress Penn State with his accomplishments.”
The chance to join a winning program and receive a top-notch education is the perfect combination for a talent like Davis who’s also enjoyed much success in the classroom.
Davis plans to major in Economics at Penn State and will not have to worry about slacking in the classroom. Nye takes as much pride in his student-athletes’ work in the classroom as their performance on the golf course.
Nye’s teams consistently achieve overall GPAs of 3.0 or higher, and getting a student-athlete like Davis whose work ethic can be described as “unbelievable” will only continue that string for the next four years.
“I would say my strong work ethic is what allowed me to get to this point of having the opportunity to play golf at a Division 1 school like Penn State,” Davis said. “Once I set my mind to something, I do my best to get it done and never quit trying to do it. I grind every day and spend as much time as possible working on my game.”
For Davis, some of that time came during the summer when he received an opportunity that most young golfers can only dream of. Davis qualified to participate in the Junior PGA Championship. And while he didn’t perform as well as he wished, Davis got an up-close look at one of golf’s biggest stages.
“Getting a chance to play in the Junior PGA championship is the high point of my career thusfar,” Davis said. “It was a big accomplishment for me and an overall cool experience.”
If Davis does indeed receive the opportunity to play professional golf after Penn State, at least he has the Junior PGA Championship under his belt.
In the meantime, Davis is just appreciative of the opportunity to golf for the Nittany Lions and is determined to take the program to even higher levels.
“Penn State is getting a student-athlete with a great drive to succeed and that will never quit at anything,” Davis said. “I’m going to buckle down, get good grades, and bring a lot to the golf team. I expect to play in a lot of tournaments at Penn State.”