Jessie Mudd was a natural talent from a young age, and by his senior year of high school he was ranked as the #1 junior golfer in the country. Around this time, Jessie signed with the University of Florida which was also ranked #1 in the country. Jessie was an All-American in his freshman year but in his sophomore year suffered injuries which plagued him for the rest of his career. In 2011, Jessie became the assistant coach at University of Kentucky, and in 2015 he became the head coach at Lamar University where he currently coaches.
When Jessie was at Florida, he got injured and had to redshirt his sophomore year. During his last two years, he struggled to regain his game. There were a few times that he qualified, but the coach took a younger player. As a head coach now, Jessie allows qualifying to determine the traveling team, and has only changed it two times in his 5-year stint at Lamar. He believes that qualifying is how you earn your spot and that it should not be taken from a player, except in extenuating circumstances. In one instance he described where he believed it was fair to take it away, the player was only teeing off with 2-irons and 4-irons because he was scared and the tournament was going to be at a course that demanded driver.
As a coach, when Jessie is looking for players to recruit, he isn’t just looking for score. One of the things he looks for is the ability to be comfortable on the course. Many people can be timid, so if a junior golfer is able to go out there and just play, then the score will take care of itself over time.
For more information, listen to the episode here https://rss.com/podcasts/thetournamentcode/