Ideally Young wants to be a professional golfer, then settle down and start designing golf courses. But if he goes straight into designing he would be okay with that, Young said.
Young was recruited by Whitworth golf coach Warren Fredericks while he was in high school, in Mill Creek, and has played golf all four years at Whitworth. Balancing a sport with academics hasn’t been hard for Young.
“My number one goal is to play golf, so I’ll focus on that before academics,” Young said. “But my number two goal is to design golf courses, and I need to go to grad school for that.”
Young has been able to tailor his studies to what he wants to do, said associate professor of art Scott Kolbo, who is Young’s advisor.
“Occasionally we have a student who is interested in architecture or landscape architecture, and we don’t really have a program for that,” Kolbo said. “We’ll try to work with students to set up an academic degree to get them where they want to be.”
Young has taken extra classes to strengthen his degree, Kolbo said. Young did an internship last summer where he designed a hole for a golf course using photoshop, and whenever he has open assignments in his art classes he tries to involve his interest in designing, Young said.
“My professors have been nice; I let them know what I want to do and they have helped me build a portfolio,” Young said. He is also minoring is business to help supplement his major.
Young will need to go to graduate school to get a Masters in landscape architecture, but he decided to wait to apply so that he can get more experience. Young is hoping to work on a golf course this summer. It has already been designed, but Young will be able to help with the excavation and implementation of the design.
Playing golf at Whitworth has also helped Young get a better grasp on what a good golf course should look like, he said.
“Knowing what I like to play on and what appeals to me helps with future designing,” Young said.
The golf season is all year long, so the golf team does a lot of traveling. Young has played on a lot of different golf courses, which means he has a better idea of what works and what doesn’t in terms of a golf course.
“Being on a golf team, you are constantly playing golf -- in the fall and the spring,” Senior Jacob McCallum said. “You’re surrounded by it. It’s a constant inspiration.” McCallum lives with Young, and was on the golf team with him for two years.
Young has been playing golf since sixth grade, and thinks that being so interested in it has helped keep him motivated, in terms of school and golf. Even if he can’t become a pro golfer, he will still be able to do something that he loves.
“I would definitely play on a course Ryan designed,” McCallum said.