There was something about his visit to Concordia-St. Paul (Minn.) that felt a lot like home for Cole Fisher, so much so that it didn't take long for the Eau Claire Memorial golfer to cast his lot with the NCAA Division II Golden Bears.
The Old Abes senior made his campus visit in late September and, within a week, was on the phone with CSP coach Taylor Ramirez, telling her that he wanted to be a Golden Bear. Fisher chose CSP over Bemidji State (Minn.), the University of Sioux Falls (S.D.) and Lake Superior State (Mich.).
"Concordia was the right choice because instantly after the visit I realized it felt like family, and it felt like a great spot to spend the next four years," Fisher wrote in a Twitter message to Wisconsin.Golf. "Most of the conversations were about my life and about how the golf is going to be. The thing that impressed me the most were all of the facilities that they have and how often you can use them.
"I love the smaller aspect about the campus and it made it feel more like home. Instantly, made it feel like home in the Twin Cities."
Fisher found a home in the Eau Claire Memorial lineup last spring, leading the Old Abes to their fourth WIAA Division 1 state tournament berth in five years. He shot 72 at the WIAA Superior regional to finish fourth behind freshman teammate Will Schlitz (68) and a 77 at the WIAA Wausau East sectional to finish T-10 before finishing his junior season with a T-23 finish at the WIAA state tournament, shooting 77-78 while the Old Abes finished 10th in the 16-team Division 1 field.
COVID-19 denied Fisher the chance to compete in the WIAA tournament series as a sophomore when the WIAA canceled all sports during the 2020 spring season due to the ongoing pandemic. However, he made the most of his opportunity in the Old Abes lineup this past spring, earning first-team all-Big Rivers Conference honors after finishing fifth in the season-long points standings.
"COVID definitely impacted my recruiting process because I missed the whole sophomore season and (it) took away from looks," wrote Fisher, a two-sport athlete at Memorial where he has also competed four seasons on the boys hockey team.
Fisher was one of three golfers to sign their National Letters of Intent with CSP during the early signing period in November, joining River Falls' Trey Timm and Shattuck-St. Mary's Sean Hickey of Faribault, Minn.
"Cole Fisher is a well-rounded student-athlete with grit and confidence," Ramirez said in a statement on the school's athletics website. "He will bring strong leadership experience to the team from his time as his high school hockey captain. Cole is a great addition to our CSP golf family, I cannot wait to see what the next four years has in store for him and the program."
The Golden Bears are getting a low-mileage golfer whose best golf is likely ahead of him.
Fisher has competed in just five WPGA-sanctioned junior events over the last two years, winning a one-day event at Pheasant Hills GC in Hammond with a 74 in 2020. He finished T-90 (83-82) in his WPGA Junior Championship debut in 2020 and improved both days in 2021 (82-76) to finish T-71. He also bettered his finish at the WSGA Junior Championship in August at Reedsburg CC, shooting 78-80-77 to finish T-59 after finishing T-60 (85-80-85) at The Legend at Brandybrook GC in Wales in 2020.
However, Fisher shared a glimpse of his potential at a qualifier for the Wisconsin State Amateur in July when he shot 73 at Wausau CC to finish T-2 and earn one of nine berths. He shot 85-89 at Westmoor CC in Brookfield to miss the 36-hole cut, but served noticed he is willing to do the work needed to fight for a spot in a CSP program that only has one senior on its 2021-22 roster.
"I hope to do as much as possible to help the team win," wrote Fisher, a future Marketing major who can't wait to work with Ramirez in taking his game to the next level. "She will help me with swing tweaks and give me lots of advice. I just hope to help win at all costs."