What’s Your Mark?

It’s been another banner year for the Iowa State men’s and women’s golf programs. Both teams are ranked in the nation’s top-40 and are advancing on to NCAA postseason play, which begins on Thursday for the Cyclone women.

As the teams prepare for NCAA Regionals, we asked each player how they mark their golf ball for competition. As you will see, each player as their own superstitions and personality. Click on each individual photo for an up-close view.


M.J. Kamin – Freshman, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

“I put two black brackets on the sides of the number because my dad did two brackets on top of the number. I thought it would be funny if I filled in the box. I have always stuck with the two brackets. I also put a putting line on the side. A lot of people do circles, but lines aren’t very common.”

Celia Barquin

Celia Barquin – Freshman, Puente San Miguel, Spain

“I always like to have my name on the ball. I make it really big so I don’t hit another player’s ball. It’s happened a couple of times in my life. If I make it bigger, I know it is my ball.”

Nattapan Siritrai

Nattapan Siritrai – Freshman, Bangkok, Thailand

“I like to put a crown because it means champion.”

Chonlada Chayanun

Chonlada Chayanun – Senior, Nakhonratchaslma, Thailand

“I put my real name, my nickname and my initials on the ball. I like to have a lot of things on the ball to make it special. When you see golf balls from long distances mostly you just see white, but mine is like blue and white. I always know where my ball is. I tried to stop doing it, but I can’t. It’s me and I have to keep doing this.”

Cajsa Persson

Cajsa Persson – Junior, Jönköping, Sweden

“I put three stars in different colors. I don’t have a real reason for it. It’s simple to do, it goes quick and it’s kind of colorful. I have been doing this for about six years. It’s my standard thing. I have never had any problems identifying my ball. I’m not like Celia.”

Collin Fostergraphic

Collin Foster – Junior, Waukee, Iowa

“I put a line over the Bridgestone and then two little dots and make a big I. I started marking my ball like this before regionals last year and played pretty well, so I decided this is going to be my mark for now on. It’s pretty simple to make, and it looks pretty clean, which I like.”

Jack Cartergraphic

Jack Carter – Sophomore, Columbus, Ohio

“I’ve had the same mark and template for a while and it’s got a plain circle on it. I think my game is pretty simple and I like things simple, so it’s just a circle right under the name of the ball. By the number I’ve got a cross. To me golf is a gift from God. To be able to play for him is a blessing.”

Scott Fernandezgraphic

Scott Fernandez – Senior, Granada, Spain

“I started marking my ball with a smiley face, just to kind of keep a nice atmosphere on the course. Every morning you need to smile and enjoy the moment. It’s been helping me enjoy my rounds. I said to myself at regionals that something is missing to this smiley face. I needed to be a bit more aggressive, so I added some teeth to kind of bite those birdies. It represents enjoying the moment, and I think I’m doing a good job of that.”

Nick Vokegraphic

Nick Voke – Sophomore, Auckland, New Zealand

“I started doing this probably the late half of 2011. I have three dots next to the number. I remember I hit a golf ball into the water and after the round someone came up and said, ‘This is your ball.’ That’s why you mark it and I thought, ‘Oh wow, I better stick with that,’ and I ended up winning that tournament.”

Ruben Sondjajagraphic

Ruben Sondjaja – Sophomore, Sydney, Australia

“I’ve got red markings on my golf ball. Red signifies Iowa State. I put 413 for my favorite bible verse, Philippians 4:13. My faith is very important and kind of grown on me since I’ve been over here (United States). I have been doing this for a long time. It’s just a cool verse that I really like and I hold onto while on the golf course.”

Jorge Utrillagraphic

Jorge Utrilla – Freshman, Zaragoza, Spain

“I put two Js one above the other, just behind the lettering on the ball.  You have to differentiate your ball from the others, so what a better way to differentiate than putting your initial of your two names. The first J is for Jorge and the second J is for my grandpa. I started doing this about three years ago and it works pretty good.”

Sam Daleygraphic

Sam Daley – Senior, Wynnum, Australia

“I put on my golf ball the Southern Cross. It’s from Australia and on our national flag. It just reminds me where I’m from and who I’m playing for. I’m proud of my family and a proud Australian.”


About Mike Green

I'm in my 24th year working in the Athletics Communications office at Iowa State and in my sixth year as Assistant Athletics Director for Communications. My passion has always been ISU Athletics and the seed was planted by my father, Ken, who was an All-Big Eight pitcher for Iowa State in 1960. I graduated from UNI in 1993, where I was a two-year letterwinner on the golf team, and received my master's at ISU in 1997. I've covered volleyball, wrestling, baseball, golf, football and men's basketball at ISU, including 13 seasons as the men's hoops contact. It's an honor to be the football contact for Coach Campbell and the Cyclones. I've got stories to tell, and I love telling them.
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