Senior Nathan Mallonee of the Georgia State men’s golf team is relishing his last ride with his fellow teammates, which may also be his last time playing the game he loves at a competitive level.
While he has significantly improved throughout his years as a golfer here at Georgia State, he realizes that his opportunity to become a professional golfer is quite remote.
However, Mallonee has been a leader in his own right on the golf course, as well as a great individual off of the green.
Lauren Court who is a former Georgia State women’s golfer (2011-15) has applauded Mallonee for his affable personality. Despite the fact that they apparently played on different teams, she credited Mallonee for always having a great spirit and being someone she could openly talk to in regards to the game of golf.
“Nate started my junior year–he was a freshman, and we lived in the same dorm building, so we were able to kind of connect and just start having a real relationship– like conversation wise, and he’s a really great person to sit and speak with,” Court said of the camaraderie her and Mallonee share.
Along with his personality, Mallonee is most recognized for his efficiency as a golfer. The Signal had an opportunity to speak with Mallonee about his senior season, thus far:
With being a senior, you’ve been involved in a great amount of matches. Which has been your favorite to compete in and why?
Mallonee: That’s a tough one. Well, my freshman year we went to the national championship–that was really fun. I mean, just competing against the best teams in the country, the course we had played [on] Prarie Dunes in Wichita was just phenomenal–it’s like one of the top 50 courses in the world. Another one of my favorite ones is we go play at Kiawah Island the ocean course, which is where Rory [McIlroy] won his PGA, and that course is just sweet.
On paper, last year it seemed to be your most successful season as a golfer here at Georgia State. What was the most important thing that you’ve taken from last year and applied to this year to help you continue that level of success?
Mallonee: I don’t think there is anything that stood out last year. It’s kinda just, you know, tryna get better. If you look at my scoring average, each year it has gotten a little better. It’s just kinda working with my coaches, being honest with myself–like, what am I doing good, what am I doing bad and just making that category of bad things fewer and fewer.
Since the season has already started, what were your individual goals for your last year being here?
Mallonee: I play golf like every day basically for the past 10 years of my life. Obviously, I want to be on the PGA tour and do all that stuff, but like, I don’t really know if it’s going to happen like that, so I mean I really, really enjoy the guys that are on the team right now. The team chemistry is great; it’s such a fun environment. This year I’m just like, this might be my last time doing this, so I’m just gonna have fun. It doesn’t matter if I play bad, just have a good attitude and just soak it all in.
Along with your career stats as a golfer, your stats as a scholar standout as well with you making the president’s list four times and the dean’s list twice. How do you manage to balance out being an athlete and a student?
Mallonee: It’s all time management. I know that’s kinda cliche, but getting your priorities right. I need to be eligible first of all academically. So I gotta get all my stuff done. You know my first year we had like snowpocalypse, and it kinda ruined the syllabus a little bit, and I kinda wasn’t used to like adjusting schedules–not being in class every day like in high school. But just like learning to check your syllabus every week, get on icollege and then just planning ahead for when we were leaving for tournaments. Sometimes we’re gone four days. You really gotta plan ahead.
Who is your favorite golfer?
Mallonee: My favorite guy to watch is Dustin Johnson, probably because he does what I can’t do. He just bombs it everywhere.
What are some of your pregame rituals?
Mallonee: Nothing real specific, it kinda changes. I think something I found success with lately is treating warmups as a warm up. It’s not a practice session for the round; I’m just getting loose. Just getting the muscles loose; just feeling it.
When asked, former Georgia State women’s golfer Lauren Court spoke highly of you. What are your thoughts about her as a golfer and an individual?
Mallonee: She’s really hardworking. When she was in school, we talked about how our teams were doing and what she was going through with the team. We could just really relate to each other. She’s a really nice person, so it was a fun connection. I could just talk to her and see what’s going on and connect with the women’s team, too.
What’s next for Nathan Mallonee?
Mallonee: I don’t know. I’m applying to grad schools right now–maybe get my MBA somewhere. I’d only do that if I could get a grad assistant position and pay for it that way. Maybe get a job, I don’t know. I’m trying to keep all of my options open right now just to see what comes about.