Former B.C. Junior Star Jonnie Motomochi Helping Young Golfers Pursue Their Collegiate Golf Dreams
Former Oregon State Beaver Jonnie Motomochi Has Found An Important And Fulfilling Role Helping Promising Young Players Get Scholarship Opportunities - Image Credit Brad Ziemer/British Columbia Golf
By Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf
KAMLOOPS -- It’s safe to say the majority of the 120 players who teed it up at this week’s B.C. Junior Boys Championship are hoping their prowess on the links might earn them a golf scholarship.
Jonnie Motomochi, who not so long ago was one of them, would like to help make that happen. The 27-year-old Motomochi has started a college golf consulting business aimed at helping parents and their sons and daughters navigate the college golf scholarship waters.
Motomochi brings an interesting perspective, as he has lived it from both sides. After a promising junior career, the Delta native played collegiate golf at Oregon State University. He later served as an assistant golf coach for Oregon State and spent much of his summers on recruiting trips for the Beavers.
Motomochi gave a presentation earlier this week to some parents and their sons who are playing in the B.C. Junior at Kamloops Golf & Country Club. “I was here, I played in this tournament for so many years,” Motomochi said in an interview.
“I gave a presentation Monday night and the first picture I showed was me at the B.C. Junior at Rivershore in 2008. There was a picture of the top 10 (Motomochi finished seventh) and all of them played in college. I was in this picture and I really didn’t know what was going on.
"I really liked Oregon State and what they had to offer, so I went. But I really didn’t know the process. Knowing it from the coach’s perspective and knowing it from the perspective of an athlete, I think I have a unique perspective and I want to help kids out with that.
“I wish I had known a little more, too, when I was going through the process. I don’t know if that would have changed my decision. I loved going to Oregon State, but having lots of information is important and allows students and their parents to make the best decision.”
Motomochi says many parents are surprised to learn how few full-ride scholarships are actually available, especially for young men. There are typically 10 players on a male golf team at a NCAA Division 1 school.
“And there are only 4.5 scholarships available,” Motomochi said. “In my years as a coach at Oregon State we had one guy on a full-ride the whole time. It was probably around the same when I played, too.”
The numbers are more promising for young women looking to earn a golf scholarship. Title IX has increased athletic opportunities for females at U.S. schools. “Typically you have an average team size of eight for women and there are six scholarships in Division 1 versus 10 and 4.5 for men,” Motomochi said.
“There is massive opportunity there. There is less competition for girls and fewer girls playing. I am not saying that girls aren’t as good, because there are tons of good girls, but there are fewer girls playing, so the fields aren’t as deep. There is a lot of opportunity there.”
Motomochi advises prospective clients to think about their priorities and to be realistic in their goals. “I worked with one kid who has emailed 20 schools and they are all top 20 teams in the country (U.S.). I go, 'you know what, man, I am not saying it's impossible but it is going to be really, really hard.'”
Motomochi recently helped another young man, who had graduated from high school last spring and wanted to play golf but education was also very important. “We got him into school this September. He's going to the University of Redlands in California and he got a really good academic scholarship. They are a Division 3 school so there is no athletic aid, but he got a massive academic scholarship and he really liked the coach and it happened.”
Motomochi also encourages clients to strongly consider Canadian universities. “You look at (SFU graduate) Chris Crisologo and (UBC graduate) Corey Renfrew. My thing is you can get good anywhere. These coaches want you to be good, They are getting paid to produce a good team. So they are going to give you every opportunity possible. Just because you went to Arizona doesn’t mean you are going to turn out great. You can get good anywhere.”
Motomochi earned an MBA at Oregon State, where he was the 2012 Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He spent four years as assistant coach with the Beavers. At age 12 in 2003, Motomochi became the youngest player to compete in the Canadian Amateur Championship.
“I just hope to help, that is the main reason I'm doing this,” he said. “I think it's a good venture for me because I think there is a niche to be filled. But I just have a passion for it and I want to help kids and their parents understand the process.”
Motomochi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .