Madison’s Amanda Detmer in action last season. (Courier file photos)
Madison’s Amanda Detmer in action last season. (Courier file photos)
Local golfer Amanda Detmer has committed to play for Jacksonville University after she graduates from Madison Consolidated High School in 2015.

Detmer, a junior who has qualified for the Indiana girls state finals in each of her three high school seasons, announced her decision on Twitter Wednesday night after returning from a campus visit earlier this week.

"Committed to golf at Jacksonville University in Florida! ?? thank you for everyone who supported me through this tough decision! Go dolphins!" the post read.

Reached by phone at her home, Detmer said her decision came down to two colleges - one near home and one in an area of the country that is known for great golf. In the end, Jacksonville University won out over Ball State University.

"In the beginning I was deciding between (Indiana University) and Ball State and IU didn't really offer much scholarships so I kind of leaned more toward Ball State and then when I was about to decide I got an e-mail from Jacksonville and decided why not go visit," Detmer said. "We got down there and they had a lot to offer and it was so nice that my decision got a lot more complicated ... I went back down there this week for a second visit and that kind of helped push me in that direction."

While further from home, NCAA Division I Jacksonville offers Detmer an opportunity to push her game to higher levels. The team's home course is the Professional Golf Association's TPC Sawgrass located in Ponte Vedra, Fla. - home of the PGA Championship and one of the top practice facilities in the world. Florida's climate also allows the opportunity for year around practice and play.

"Their facilities are great and the team's swing coach teaches PGA Tour players," Detmer noted. "I met him on my visit and he helped me greatly even though we worked together only about an hour.

"Just looking at Ball State the weather there is about 10 percent colder than Madison so I'd barely get to practice there in the winter," Detmer added.

Detmer said Jacksonville University carries a roster of about eight players and that should offer plenty of opportunity to crack the Dolphins' starting lineup. The coaching staff has told Detmer that her freshman class is likely to be about three players.

"Their home course is great, it's a full-ride scholarship at a private college, the weather is good, the campus is really nice, the dorms are really nice and the people are friendly," said Detmer.

While the late e-mail set the wheels in motion for Detmer to choose Jacksonville, the college had been in on her recruitment earlier when the coaching staff made phone calls to former Madison girls golf coach Doug Rusk when he was still coaching the team and Detmer several months earlier.

Rusk said the opportunity for year around play in Florida along with top quality instruction will give Detmer her best chance at making golf a career should she choose that route. Detmer noted that she and Rusk sat down for about 90 minutes recently to go over the pros and cons of her college choices and while Rusk never steered her one way or another the process helped greatly in her decision.

"Doug really helped me a lot with the recruiting process," Detmer said. "He sent out a lot of letters and he sat down with me to help me make a list of pros and cons for my decision."

"This is a great opportunity for Amanda to use the golf to get her education," Rusk said. "And she'll raise her game to meet the challenge.

"If you go south it's pretty much an opportunity to play year around golf and that will allow her the opportunity to get the most out of her game," Rusk said. "She makes friends easily so fitting in won't be a problem. I've seen her play with the best players in the state and some of the worst players in the state and her demeanor doesn't change. She's comfortable just playing her game no matter who she's playing with."

Although Detmer cannot sign an official National Letter of Intent until November, she said having the decision already made is a weight off her shoulders and should allow her to focus on the upcoming summer and fall golf seasons without that added distraction.

Detmer plans to major in some variation of international business with perhaps a minor in graphic design but she won't rule out a run at professional golf if she can elevate her game to that level.

"I want to see how much better I'll get down there ... playing their courses with their coaching," Detmer said. "I just want to see how far they can help me go."

For now Detmer will continue working for the upcoming summer junior golf circuit and the fall high school season and a quest for a state championship. She said having her college decision made clears the path for the rest of her high school career.

"It's a big relief ... I'd kind of been stressing out about everything and second-guessing and it was really stressful," Detmer said. "I'm kind of glad I got it over with because it was hard to decide and when you get into golf season and you're still thinking about that it can be a distraction so I'm glad that that's done."

"I'm pretty proud of everything Amanda's accomplished," Rusk said. "Whatever she's achieved she's really worked hard for it. She practices daily and that says a lot about her drive. She deserves all the credit and all the honors."