USGTF professional Andre Springs’ introduction to golf came when his uncle took him to the golf course in North Carolina to help him pick up range balls when a young Andre was just 5 years old. He remembers seeing how well dressed the golfers were and the fact that they appeared to have money, and that appealed to the youngster.

Springs wound up picking up range balls through his senior year in high school, as well as getting playing privileges and developing a great golf game. Although he was cut from his team in 8th grade, in 9th grade he not only made the team, but was the Most Valuable Player. He earned a scholarship to Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, North Carolina. While there, he led his team to four Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association conference championships and earned NAIA all-American status.

His success led him to be named the head golf coach at Livingstone College in Salisbury, North Carolina, in 1979 at the age of 20. His first year, he dismissed everyone from the team except for one player, as most of the team did not take practice or the game seriously. Within a short time, Springs’ teams had won five conference championships and three national championships in the National Minority College Championship (now known as the PGA Works Collegiate Championship). He left to go to Cleveland, Ohio, where he became the first black general manager in the city’s golf course system, at Highland Park. He then moved back to his hometown in North Carolina, Charlotte, where he met Johnny Harris, owner and president of the famed Quail Hollow Golf Course. Harris was in the process of building a new course, Birkdale, and he offered Springs a job. When Birkdale opened, Springs caddied that day for Arnold Palmer, the course designer. Harris eventually named Springs the head teaching professional at Birkdale. And by the way, while there, Springs fired a 66 which established the course record.

Proving that life sometimes comes full circle, Springs was asked to once again coach the Livingstone golf program in 2010. He also became the school’s athletic director, a position he left in 2016. Today, his Livingstone golf team is ranked #1 in Division II among the Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the nation. Springs says he is lucky to have a president at the college who plays and appreciates golf and offers full support, and lists it as an important reason why he and his teams have been so successful at Livingstone.
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