Rare Alaska college golfer, Swinton to play for Oregon Tech

March 28, 2014

Tyler Swinton GolfCollege coaches don’t typically line up to sign Alaska golfers, so Tyler Swinton of Haines took matters into his own hands.

He recruited Oregon Institute of Technology.

After helping Southwestern Oregon Community College win last fall’s NWAACC championship and claiming the team’s Most Improved Player award, Swinton reached out to Oregon Tech coach Jeff Corkill and pitched himself.

Turns out, Corkill needed golfers to replace five seniors.

“My goal in recruiting is to replace those seniors with a couple community college players for their leadership and playing experience,” Corkill told me. “Based on what I can tell Tyler fits that bill quite well. He has competed well for SWOCC. Everyone in Klamath Falls that has met Tyler as well as his coach at SWOCC speak very highly of him.”

Swinton’s golf buddy Justin Wiles grew up in Klamath Falls and it’s through visiting Wiles that he got familiar with the town, the school and the new golf team.

Last fall for SWOCC, Swinton shot an average of 78 in his first season of college golf. He lowered that average to 73 at the NWAACC championships. His best round was a 72 at the Bandon Dunes Invitational.

“Alaska is not a hotbed of junior golf, but Tyler is a good player and has worked hard at his game,” Corkill said. “Scores don’t lie in golf and Tyler has scored well in his competitions.”

At 6-foot-7, Swinton is taller than most golfers.

“While being tall is not an asset in golf like in other sports, Tyler has adapted his swing to it and appears to make a good move through the ball,” Corkill said.

Swinton will major in accounting.

“Tyler is a strong student and we have very high academic standards,” Corkill said. “So when I recruit a player they must also be able to handle the rigors of tough academics and balance this with practice and missing some school for competitions.”