He picked up a club when he was a toddler, and it has been hard to get it out of his hand every since.
“My dad started me when I was about five-years old,” Hand said. “Around 10 years of age we started to play in competitive tournaments around Kansas City.”
Hailing from Savannah, Missouri, Ryan Hand has always been fond of competition.
After graduating from Savannah High School, Hand continued to play recreational golf, while also playing golf in junior college before coming to Western.
“This will be my second year at Missouri Western,” Hand said. “I played junior college golf in Dodge City, Kansas and then transferred here after two years. I love competition golf and I love recreational golf. It is an important part of my life.”
One of the highlights of last season for Hand was sharing a first place tie in the MWSU Holiday Inn Express Classic.
Hand was competitive throughout the year, finishing in the top-25 in three other tournaments.
Earlier this October, he placed fourth in this year’s MWSU Holiday Inn Express Classic.
He credits the recent success of the golf program to good coaching and his teammates.
“It has been a lot of fun,” Hand said. “My teammates, we’re pretty close. So, there is never a dull moment really. We know how to have fun.”
That positive energy may have trickled down from the coach. Hand noted that head coach Greg Dillon’s positive attitude keeps the team motivated to play.
“Our coaches are constantly pushing us to be better,” Hand said. “It has been a good experience here. [Dillon] is a really good guy and keeps things positive every time. Even if you have a bad shot, he finds a way to pick you back up.”
The person who first put the club in his hand is also his caddy during tournaments. It’s a tradition that started when he was just 10-years old.
“My dad is my caddy for the tournaments,” Hand said. “It has been a real good father-and-son bond. Over the years, we have been all over the country. He has been there with me every step, along with my mom. She comes to most of them, when she can.”
The future for golf at Western looks encouraging according to Hand. He noted that the program is continuing to grow and the younger guys are ready to compete in bigger tournaments.
“I expect the younger guys will stay hungry and continue to try to turn the program around,” Hand said. “Hopefully we can get a team in here for a Regional.”