Originally Published on Columbus State University News, 07/29/2021
COLUMBUS – After two decades as head men’s golf coach at his alma mater, Mark Immelman is stepping down as Director of Golf at Columbus State University effective August 1.
Immelman, a 2017 Columbus State Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, took the men’s golf program to 18 of a possible 19 NCAA Regional competitions, including a runner-up performance at the 2006 NCAA Championship. In all, the Cougars appeared in eight national NCAA Championships under his watch.
“After 4 seasons as a player and 20 seasons as a coach, stepping away from Columbus State University golf is definitely bittersweet for me,” stated Immelman. “I honestly bleed red, white and blue and CSU will forever be a part of my being.”
“There are too many people to thank for their support and counsel during my time with CSU Golf. I do however want to single out Mr. Billy Key, Dr. Earl Bagley, Coach Herbert Greene, Coach Jay Sparks and Todd Reeser for their support during my tenure as Head Coach and Director of Golf. It was 20 years well-spent, and a time rich with experiences of a lifetime.”
“I will miss the players and the competition but I wish them well and charge them to continue to shine as they grow in the CSU Golf family.”
A part of one of the most prestigious golf families in South Africa, Immelman returned to Columbus in August 2001 to begin his collegiate coaching career following a coaching stint on the European Tour. The Cougars began to roar under Immelman in the mid-2000s, with CSU grabbing the program’s eighth national championship runner-up performance in 2006 and then added a Peach Belt Conference Championship a year later. Also in 2007, Immelman guided Christian Ries to the individual national championship and the Arnold Palmer Award.
Immelman was recognized as the top Division II men’s golf coach in the nation in 2009, taking home the Dave Williams National Coach of the Year award after Columbus State finished third at the NCAA Championship. From 2006-2015, Immelman produced at least one All-American or an All-American honorable mention selection in eight of the 10 seasons.
In 2016 the Cougars hoisted another PBC Championship trophy before kicking off an impressive stretch of winning major end-of-the-season awards from the conference. Over the past four years, CSU has had two student-athletes named the PBC Golfer of the Year (Jordan Doull 2019, Ronan Kleu 2021), while Doull was selected as the 2018 Freshman of the Year.
Immelman added the Director of Golf title in the summer of 2015, adding the oversight of the women’s program to his duties. He helped take the Lady Cougars to new heights, including earning the program’s first national ranking during the spring of 2019. Victoria Libaak accomplished another program first that year as she won the individual title at the PBC Championship.
In total, Immelman coached three PBC Golfers of the Year, 42 All-PBC selections and 12 All-Americans with four additional honorable mention selections.
“Over the course of the last twenty plus years, Mark Immelman has led our program to great heights, establishing Columbus State University golf as one of the top programs in the country. As one of our outstanding alumni, he has brought not only great recognition to CSU, but also impacted the game of golf nationally and internationally, said Todd Reeser, Director of Athletics. “Mark, Tracy, and his girls will always be a part of the Cougar family and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Immelman had quite the playing career for the Cougars. In addition to being a three-time All-American (1992, 94, 95), Immelman helped the Cougars win two national championships (1992, 94) and a runner-up finish in 1993. He was also a two-time Academic All-American before eventually earning himself a spot in the Columbus State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017. The PBC named him the Golfer of the Year for the 1993-94 season.
After his graduation, Immelman became a professional golfer before a two-year stint as a sports agent; however, it wasn’t too long before he returned home to Somerset West, South Africa, to open his golf academy to begin teaching the game. He has worked with numerous professionals, including his younger brother, Trevor, who won the 2008 Masters.
Immelman has become one of the brightest voices in the game, serving as a color commentator for CBS Sports and PGATour.com.
CSU alum and current assistant coach David McMinn has been named the Interim Director of Golf, overseeing the men’s and women’s programs. Columbus State will announce additional details regarding the coaching positions for the golf programs at a later date.