U freshman golfer adjusts to life in America

Susan Filkins

Eighteen months ago Gophers freshman golfer Martin Le Mesurier never thought he would leave his home in Southampton, England, to play in the states. But life was becoming routine in England, and he was bored.
Martin attended school just like everyone else until age 16. He then went to Totton College until he was 18. Instead of going on to attend a university, Martin decided to take a couple of years off to play golf and work.
It was during this time that he made a name for himself in England and caught the eyes of some American schools as well.
The College Prospects of America, a recruiting service for college coaches, came to England and did a profile on Le Mesurier. The response from American schools was incredible, with 15 to 20 schools offering him partial to full scholarships.
Alabama was at the top of the list.
It just so happened that Alabama’s men’s golf coach Mike Dunphy was a good friend of Minnesota men’s golf coach John Means. Means heard of Le Mesurier from the recruiting service as well, but Means decided not to recruit him because of his friendship with Dunphy.
“We were down at a tournament in Tampa, Fla., in February and I had a chance to talk with Mike,” Means said. “He told me how hard he had been recruiting Martin, and I just couldn’t go after him because of my friendship with Mike. I just couldn’t cross that line.”
But Le Mesurier eventually declined Alabama’s offer.
“The team wasn’t very good,” he said. “I wanted to go to a school where the team was going somewhere.”
After Le Mesurier passed-up Alabama, Means decided to give him a call. He convinced Le Mesurier to come to Minnesota for a visit — the same weekend, he visited Ohio State.
Le Mesurier made his decision, which was a good one for Minnesota.
“Ohio State was an OK place, but I thought the team members were false and a little arrogant,” Le Mesurier said. “The guys from Minnesota were much friendlier, and I fit in better with them.”
The decision couldn’t have made Means happier.
Although Le Mesurier has only been in the states for two and a half months, he has adapted very well both on and off the golf course.
So far this fall, Le Mesurier has finished in the top 20 in each of three tournament appearances. His top finish was at the ReliaStar Collegiate Invitational held at Hazeltine National Golf Course in Chaska, Minn., where he finished ninth.
Martin says he has just started to get a feel for golf in the Big Ten, but is looking forward to the upcoming offseason and the spring.
“I don’t know the program all that well yet,” Le Mesurier said. “I heard that we get to go on a trip in January or February to practice. I just hope that we go somewhere warm, but hopefully not to the South because there are too many snakes. I hate snakes.”
Although leaving his family was difficult for Le Mesurier, who has never been apart from them, he is glad he decided to leave. He likes the states, but is still struggling to learn everything about American life.
“The biggest difference here is that everything is much slower than back home,” Le Mesurier said. “I like Minnesota, but I am not used to not being able to go out. I can’t go anywhere here because I am not old enough. The drinking age in England is 18.”
Le Mesurier has a bright future ahead of him. His No. 1 passion is golf, and he hopes that in two or three years he will be able to join the U.S. Pro Tour.
“He is a very talented athlete,” Means said. “I didn’t expect him to do this well, but he knows what he needs to do and has to do at the right time. He is a very mature freshman, and I can definitely see him making it to the majors.”