Loudoun County, VA (June 5, 2016) – With three high school state titles and a Virginia State Amateur championship under his belt, Maclain Huge just capped off his four-year Virginia Tech golf career last month, finishing 11th all-time in scoring average as a Hokie at just under 74.
A Middleburg Academy product, Huge competed in the traveling lineup for the Hokies in every tournament all four years in school, a rare accomplishment as just five players participate in each event.
With school now in his rear-view mirror, the Lovettesville native plans to continue his competitive amateur career through the summer before turning professional later this year.
Before eyeing a dream of playing golf for a living, before donning the maroon and burnt orange with the Hokies, and even before suiting up for Middleburg Academy, Huge first picked up a golf club essentially as a toddler.
“I started playing at four, so I’ve played a lot of golf,” Huge said.
Huge was a natural athlete and born with the gift of height, standing at 6-foot-2 as a freshman at Middleburg. That athleticism translated well to golf with a smooth and powerful swing, but it wasn’t until he found his coach that his game really began to mature.
Huge first met Adam Harrell as a sophomore in high school and the two clicked right away.
“I started working with him sophomore year and that jumped me forward a lot,” Huge said. “I got a lot more consistent the rest of high school.”
Harrell, the director of the Elite Performance Golf Academy at Westpark, helped mold the now 6-foot-5 kid with talent into a polished golfer.
Prior to meeting Harrell, Huge had already won the 2009 VISAA Division II high school state championship as a freshman. With Harell’s guidance, Huge went on to win the title again in 2010 and 2012, and was a four-time VISAA All-State First Team member before committing to the Hokies over UVA and South Carolina in September of his senior year.
“The state championship was big, especially senior year,” Huge said, “just to finish off my high school career with that, it was nice to end that way.”
Huge certainly ended his Middleburg career on a high note, and was able to carry the success into amateur golf that summer. In 2012, Huge reached sectionals of U.S. Open qualifying, won the Frank Emmet Schoolboy Championship, and qualified for the U.S. Amateur at the prestigious Cherry Hills in Colorado.
“Throughout that summer I had been playing well, so getting into the US Am. capped it off and what I had been really working on,” Huge said. “Getting to go to Cherry Hills was awesome.”
The momentum then continued to Blacksburg as he joined the Hokies later that year. Not only did he start right away, but he shot his career-low round of 66 in his very first event. He went on to finish 10th in the ACC Championship and 11th in the NCAA Regionals later that spring.
During Huge’s time with Virginia Tech, the Hokies reached NCAA Regionals three times, including a trip to the NCAA National Championships his sophomore year. The very reason he chose to join the Hokie program was the level of competition and the opportunities ACC golf provided.
“I figured the ACC was going to be really good competition, and they play a great schedule every year,” Huge said.
Huge had the chance to compete against the best for four years at Virginia Tech, but admits he didn’t always play up to par over that span. At times, his putting and chipping let him down, especially the events in early spring coming out of the snowy Blacksburg winters.
“To sum up my college career, I would say it was very up and down,” he said.
His career may have had its peaks and valleys, but his junior year was his most consistent, averaging 72.79 in the fall and 73.29 in the spring. Not coincidentally, Huge began working with the Hokies’ sports psychologist that year.
“I started seeing him right when I got back to school in August and that helped a ton,” Huge said. “In the second tournament at VCU I came in second, I only lost by one. That was my best finish in college. I would say my junior year was my most consistent because I knew what was going on mentally.”
The success of his junior year carried over to his biggest triumph in amateur golf, winning the 102nd Virginia State Amateur at Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville in 2015, the top amateur event of the year in the state. The tournament consists of two rounds of stroke play to qualify for 32 spots in the match play field, ending with a 36-hole final match.
“Going into it I had been playing well throughout the spring going into the summer. Really that week and even that summer, it was the best I ever putted. So really it was just ride the putter,” Huge said.
He indeed rode the putter to victory, knocking off Mark Lawrence, Jr. in the final match, a former Auburn golfer who recently transferred to Virginia Tech.
Despite the up and downs, Huge looks back on his college career with fondness as he had the opportunity to compete in the ACC Championships four years in a row at the renowned Old North State Club in North Carolina, as well as four trips to Puerto Rico for tournaments each February.
Those exciting trips are behind him, but the most exciting part lies ahead, as he will soon make the transition from amateur to professional golf. After running through his regular competitive circuit this summer, he will make the transition just in time for the pre-qualifying stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.
With high hopes on the horizon, for now Huge will be working on his game at all hours at Loudoun Golf.
“I will practice like I just started a job out of college because I really did,” Huge said. “Now I finally have the time to put in all the work I need on putting and chipping.”
Viva Loudoun: We Live For Loudoun™
Written by Josh Apple
Special to Viva Loudoun
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