North Texas Daily

Golf freshman Rosenmueller making international transition look easy

Golf freshman Rosenmueller making international transition look easy

November 12
02:46 2015

Alex Lessard | Staff Writer

@alexlikechexmix

Before moving from Germany to Denton for the fall semester, freshman Thomas Rosenmueller proved himself as one of the top young golf talents in Germany, cracking the top 40 in the European Golf Rankings over the summer and playing for Germany’s Junior National Team since 2013.

But Rosenmueller’s dream was always to come to the United States to study and play college golf, a move that was quite common among his peers. Even with extensive classwork, learning a new language and adapting to a new culture, Rosenmueller has made the transition to an unlikely location look seamless.

“I still spoke German most of the time,” Rosenmueller said. “It’s a new situation if you talk not your native language. That was a big change, but I’m doing quite okay so far.”

Coming to Denton marked the first time Rosenmueller would be away from his family for an extended period of time, but he hasn’t let homesickness get the best of him. While in Germany, he said he’d often only be at home three or four times a week, especially during summers.

Other adjustments haven’t taken a toll on him, either. He said his hometown of Munich had just as much restaurant variety as America. And although his lifestyle hasn’t drastically changed, adjusting to a new primary method of transportation was something he didn’t expect.

“I see people driving their cars to [Victory Hall] to study for classes. You won’t see that in Germany,” Rosenmueller said. “You’re walking or getting your bike out and driving down with your bike. In America, everything is driven by car.”

Getting used to a different affinity for a wide range of sports in the states has been a transition Rosenmueller has enjoyed making. Having grown up with soccer, handball and tennis as the three major sports in Germany, golf was never on anyone’s radar.

Denton, TX - OCTOBER 21: University of North Texas Mean Green Men's Golf Team media day at Denton Country Club in Denton on October 21, 2012 in Denton, Texas. Photo by: Rick Yeatts

UNT freshman Thomas Rosenmueller swings his club during the Mean Green men’s golf team media day at Denton Country Club on Oct. 21, 2012. Courtesy | North Texas Athletics 

Freshman Thomas Rosenmueller

He said there was never a ton of media coverage for golf in Germany, even when German native Martin Kaymer earned the world No. 1 ranking in 2011 after winning two major championships.

“It’s still not as popular as you would imagine,” Rosenmueller said. “In America, almost everybody knows about golf. For example, [in Germany] I was walking through a meeting with my clubs, and they were asking me which sport I was playing.”

Despite the sport’s lack of popularity, Rosenmueller never doubted his path. He played a variety of sports growing up  and began to focus on golf at age 13.

His dedication led to the opportunity to play for the Junior National Team, an experience he said prepared him for any kind of pressure situation in the future.

“The first year you get into the national team, you wear the German eagle on your shirt. That’s pretty high pressure on you,” Rosenmueller said. “And you have to handle it.”

Choosing which school to attend wasn’t an easy decision for him. When taking recruiting visits, most coaches would tell him how they were planning on changing his swing rather than focusing on the positives of his game.

When he came to North Texas, Rosenmueller found comfort with head coach Brad Stracke, who told him he’d collaborate with his current individual swing coach Ken Williams throughout his college career in order to make him the best golfer he can be.

“He’s very competitive, he hits the ball well, and his short game is very good,” Stracke said. “He has all the intangibles that you need to be a great player.”

Although the meat of the North Texas schedule happens during the spring, Rosenmueller’s career is off to a positive start. In the Mean Green’s most recent invitational, he became the first freshman to win a tournament outright since 2005, earning himself Conference-USA Player of the Week honors on Oct. 28. The performance was fueled by a 63-shot second round, tied for the lowest round of any golfer in the nation this season.

Rosenmueller said most American courses are easier than German ones due to wider fairways, giving him more room for error off the tee. After seeing what Rosenmueller was capable of, fellow freshman teammate Ross Martens said he was beyond impressed.

“His length is crazy. I’m about four inches taller than him, and he out-drives me by 30 yards,” Martens said. “He hits the ball a mile for his size.”

Stracke said Rosenmueller still has a long way to go from now until his senior season, but he did not deny his potential to become a special talent.

“He can be as good as he wants to be. He can be an All-American here,” Stracke said. “It just depends on how hard he wants to work and the direction he’s going.”

Featured Image: Freshman Thomas Rosenmueller kicked off his UNT career with a tournament win in the most recent Mean Green invitational. Courtesy | North Texas Athletics

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