Augusta University women’s golf head coach Caroline Hegg knows what it takes to make it to the pinnacle of a collegiate sport. Hegg enters her fifth year at the helm of the Augusta women’s golf program in 2019-20
Caroline Hegg completed her first year as a head coach in 2015-16 and she brought the Jaguars into the top 30 of the national rankings and returned the team to the NCAA Regional. Hegg came to Augusta in Augusta 2015 after serving as the assistant coach at Purdue University for the past five years.
Hegg being announced with Director of Athletics Clint Bryant at a press conference on Aug. 4, 2015. (Photo courtesy of Augusta Chronicle)
Under Hegg, the Jaguars have advanced to the NCAA Regional three times in her four years overseeing the program. The 2018-19 squad shattered several school records, while earning a No. 45 national ranking – the fourth highest in school history. The 2018-19 Jags set new team records for par-3, par-4, and par-5 scoring, while recording the most rounds at par or better and earning the highest national scoring rating ever. The team also shot the lowest 36-hole, and 54-hole total scores ever and three of the starting five Jaguars achieved the lowest scoring average. 2019 Senior Maggie Ashmore posted the lowest scoring average of all time at 72.53 and 2019 juniors Linda Lundqvist and Charlotte Alran ranked second and third at 72.91 and 73.05. Lundqvist also had the most rounds at par or better in a single season in 2018-19 and Ashmore had the third most. The 2018-19 Jaguars also claimed the lowest par-3, par-4, and par-5 individual scoring average in school history.
In 2016-17, Augusta was ranked as high as No. 42 in the nation and finished top 10 in 10 of their 11 events in 2016-17. Augusta was top five in four of the five fall events and were top 10 in five of the six spring events. The Jaguars were one of 72 teams in the nation to be selected to the NCAA Golf Regional Championships. The selection for Augusta was the seventh in the 17-year history of the program and marked the second-straight trip for Hegg in her second season.
In her first season in Augusta, Hegg helped the Jaguars reach their sixth NCAA Regional. One of many highlights to Hegg’s inaugural season, was taking the first-place title at the 3M Augusta Invitational. Augusta won their home event for the first time at the ninth-annual event - besting the 16-team field at three-under par to win by 10 strokes at Forest Hills Golf Club on March 13, 2016.
The Jags finished in the top 10 in all nine regular-season events and carded five top-five places. Hegg was nominated for the Dick Wallace Coach of the Year award at the 2016 Augusta University Athletics Awards Banquet.
Hegg, who was announced as the head coach of the Jaguars on August 4, 2015 at a press conference in the J. Fleming Norvell Golf House, spent five seasons with the Purdue Boilermakers and helped coach the team to three top-10 showings at the NCAA Championships including a runner-up finish in 2011 and third place in 2013. Under Hegg and the Boilers staff, there individuals earned Big Ten Championships, while the team garnered the 2013 Big Ten Team Championship.
During her time in West Lafayette, Hegg coached five All-American selections, three Big Ten Players of the Year, and nine Academic All-American Scholar team recipients. She also coached Paula Reto for all four years at Purdue. Reto represented South Africa in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and finished tied for 16th.
Prior to coaching, she played four seasons for Purdue from 2003 to 2007. The Culver, Ind., native graduated in May 2007, with a classical studies degree and a minor in philosophy. Hegg was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, an NGCA All-Scholar Team recipient and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest academic honor society.
Before Purdue, Hegg served as a staff professional at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill in Prattville, Ala. Her career began in June of 2008 at the Randall Oaks Golf Course in Dundee, Ill., where she served as the golf professional.
Hegg won the Indiana State Open the summer of her sophomore year at Purdue. She was the Indiana state high school golf champion in 2001, runner up in 2000 and earned all-state honors all four years at the Culver Academy. Hegg spent the first year after graduation from Purdue as a faculty intern at her high school alma mater.
JP van der Walt joined the Jaguars in August 2016 and enters his fourth season in 2019-20 as the top assistant coach for both Division I men’s and women’s golf programs at Augusta University.
From Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, van der Walt comes from a golf family with ties to the PGA Tour and has experience coaching in the NCAA. He aide’s men’s head golf coach Jack O’Keefe and women’s head golf coach Caroline Hegg with all aspects of their respective programs.
The Augusta men’s team has won five conference championships and four during van der Walt’s tenure. Both squads in 2018-19 returned to the NCAA Regional, while the women’s team earned a No. 45 national ranking.
With three freshmen, a sophomore, and one senior, the 2017-18 men's squad reached the NCAA National Championship at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. Lone veteran Broc Everett became the first Jaguar to win a NCAA Individual National Championship – taking the title in a playoff hole. To qualify for the NCAA finals, Augusta shot its lowest score in a regional with a round-three 270 at the 2018 NCAA Raleigh Regional.
Van der Walt helped guide both the men’s and women’s teams to the NCAA Regional Tournaments in his first season in 2016-17, while each squad earned a top 50 national ranking.
He joined the Jaguars after spending two seasons as a graduate assistant coach for the Columbus State University men's golf program in Columbus, Ga. He returned to CSU as a coach after finishing up his playing career as a CSU Cougar in 2009. van der Walt is fresh off a 2015-16 Peach Belt Conference Championship where he helped coach the Cougars to the title. That same season, CSU received the PBC Sportsmanship Award.
During his time in Columbus van der Walt took home the individual title at the Rollins Invitational in 2008 and was a member of the 2009 CSU team that finished in third place at the National Championship. He was also selected to the All-Peach Belt Conference team in 2008.
Van der Walt graduated from Columbus State in May of 2016 with his master's of science in organizational leadership. In May of 2009, he received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from CSU.
From South Africa, van der Walt turned pro and competed from 2009-2013 and was a member of the Sunshine Tour from 2011-2013. He was also a caddy for the European Tour and LPGA Tour and his brother Tjaart van der Walt had full time status on the PGA Tour and currently competes on the European Tour.