Camden’s Cole Anderson had a memorable debut for the Florida State University golf team last September.
The redshirt freshman shot a 4-under-par 66 in the Maui Jim Collegiate tournament at the Mirabel Club in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“I couldn’t ask for much more there. I was trying to get acclimated to college golf and it went really well,” Anderson said Thursday, shortly after claiming his second straight Maine Amateur Championship by firing a 10-under 203 in the three-day event at Biddeford-Saco Country Club in Saco.
He enjoyed a solid first season as a Seminole, finishing third on the team with a scoring average of 72.44. He was one of only three team members to play in all six stroke-play tournaments during the 2019-2020 season.
The 19-year-old Anderson had another round in the 60s as he shot a 69 in the first round of the Cabo Collegiate in Mexico on March 1.
In his previous tournament, the Seminole Intercollegiate Feb. 22-23 at the Golden Eagle Country Club in Tallahassee, Florida, he registered his best finish as he tied for ninth with a 1-over-par 217.
However, the season was cancelled in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was happy with my season but disappointed to have it cut short by the COVID,” Anderson said. “I had a great experience. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I got to play in all of the tournaments, traveled to a lot of cool places, played on some real nice golf courses and faced the kind of competition I’ve wanted to face for a long time.”
One of those courses was the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, founded by Hall-of-Famer Jack Nicklaus.
“That was special. That is an amazing golf course. You don’t often get to play somewhere like that which has so much history tied to it,” Anderson said.
Anderson first enrolled at FSU in January, 2018, and was a redshirt his first season. He said it was a valuable year.
“It was crucial for me to get used to what life was like for a student-athlete,” Anderson said. “I have always practiced a lot but I had to balance that with my schoolwork.”
The Camden Hills High School three-time Class A state champion said he has no regrets about his decision to attend Florida State.
“I love the school and the facilities. I have great teammates and great coaches,” said Anderson, who was the 2017 New England PGA junior champion and the 2016 New England Golf Association junior individual titlist.
Anderson, who plays out of the Samoset Resort in Rockport, was pleased with his six-stroke victory at the Maine Amateur but said his game needs to continue to evolve.
“I’ve got to do some work on my putting, for sure,” Anderson said. “And I’ve got to hammer my short game some more. It hasn’t been bad lately but it hasn’t been up to par, no pun intended.
“I’m hungry to get better,” he said. “I want to contend for trophies.”
In 2019, Anderson was honored by the Maine State Golf Association as the Dr. Leonardo Buck Player of the Year. It goes to the player who earns the most points in the state season from August to July of the next year.
Anderson thrives on the unique challenges of the game.
“There aren’t many sports where you have 144 guys all going after the same trophy,” he said. “It’s part of the reason I love the game so much. It challenges you in every aspect.”
He doesn’t have any immediate plans other than to keep working on his game.
“I’m supposed to be going back to school pretty soon, assuming that happens,” he said.