GOLF: Noble to tee it up at Coastal Carolina

Ringgold senior golfer Gavin Noble signed his letter of intent to play golf at NCAA Division I Coastal Carolina this past Wednesday. Also on hand for the signing ceremony were parents Scott and April Noble, grandfather Jim Noble and grandmother Gloria James. / Contributed

Golf has taken Ringgold High School’s Gavin Noble a lot of places and next year it will take him to Conway, S.C., a suburb of Myrtle Beach, where he plans to spend the next four years.

The Tiger standout and the 2018 Catoosa County Boys’ Golfer of the Year, signed his letter of intent to continue his golf career at NCAA Division I and Sun Belt Conference member Coastal Carolina University during a ceremony at the high school this past Wednesday night.

“I just really like it up there,” Noble explained. “They’re a top 25 school and they have great facilities and I love all the courses up there. They have really great places to practice, so if you go up there and don’t get better, then I don’t know where else you could go.”

Noble said he felt that he had found a home when he went to CCU a visit.

“I just kind of knew,” he continued. “I really like that whole area up there. It’s a great environment.”

This past spring, Noble carded a 72 at the Area 6-AAA tournament at Fields Ferry in Calhoun to qualify for the state tournament for a third straight year. He prepped for the event by finishing in a tie for third place at the Rome Junior Classic against top players from across the nation.

At the state tournament, he bounced back from a 40 on his first nine holes to end the first round with a 76. Then in the final round, he birdied five of his first eight holes and finished with a 3-under par 69 - the lowest round for anyone in the field that day - to end up tied for third place individually. It was his highest-ever finish in the state tournament, bettering the tie for fourth place he enjoyed as a sophomore.

Noble also said getting to play for Jim Garren was a definite plus in the Chanticleers’ favor.

“I love the coaches up there,” he said. “They are really nice and they know what they want. The head coach (Garren) was the assistant coach at Oklahoma when they won the national championship (in 2017). He knows what it’s like to win and that’s what he wants for the team.”

A native of Cartersville and a three-time GHSA state champion at Cartersville High, Garren played collegiately at Wallace State (Ala.) and later at Kennesaw State University. He was an assistant coach at both Southern Mississippi and New Mexico before helping coach the Sooners to three straight NCAA Championship appearances and the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s title. He was hired at CCU in July of 2017.

Coastal is also the alma mater of Dustin Johnson, who recently spent 81 straight weeks as the world’s No. 1-ranked player. Johnson was a three-time All-American at CCU (2005, 2006, 2007).

“(Johnson) is one of my favorite golfers,” Noble added. “That’s where he went and you see where he is now. I’m hoping to bring some team and maybe some individual wins and hopefully a national championship to their program.”

Noble plans to major in sports management.