Stanford Swid saw a lot of himself in Winona (Minn.) State men's golf coach Jeff Straight on his visit to the NCAA Division II school earlier this year.
That made it easier for the Mosinee senior to see himself spending the next four years along the Mississippi River on the Winona State campus.
Swid recently signed a National Letter of Intent to play for the Warriors next fall. He told Wisconsin.golf he was also considering Division II Bemidji (Minn.) State, Concordia-St. Paul (Minn.) and Ferris State (Mich.) and Division III power St. Thomas (Minn.) before casting his lot with Winona State.
Academically, Swid plans to major in business. He is the third generation in a business family, takes business classes at Mosinee and is president of his DECA (Distributive Education Club of America) club at his school.
"I was looking for a school where I could continue my academics on my career path, as well as to play for a super competitive team," Swid wrote in an email interview with Wisconsin.golf recently. "Coach Straight is very competitive and has high standards. I am very competitive myself, so I was intrigued to find a coach with the same passion that I had."
Swid, a two-time WIAA Division 2 sectional qualifier, broke through last spring and qualified for the state tournament at University Ridge in Madison. There, he shot 76 and was tied for seventh after the opening round before struggling to a 10-over 46 in the rain-shortened second round to finish tied for 24th.
Earlier in the spring, Swid won the Iola-Scandinavia Invitational on the Irish Course at Whistling Straits with a 75. He broke 80 in five of the seven legs of the Great Northern Conference tournament with a low of 70 at Bass Lake Country Club in Antigo.
This past summer, Swid played in eight WPGA Junior points events and got better the deeper he went into his schedule. He enjoyed a pair of top-three finishes in one-day WPGA Junior Tour events in between a tie for 22nd at The Dells Junior Golf Championship, a tie for 50th at the WSGA Junior Boys Championship at Edelweiss Chalet Country Club in New Glarus and a tie for 12th at the one-day, 36-hole WPGA Players Tour event at Dretzka Park Golf Course in Milwaukee.
Winona State will graduated four golfers off its 12-player roster after this season, including Wisconsin natives Tyler Beeck (Sheboygan Falls) and Bentley Glass (Fort Atkinson). Swid, one of three golfers Straight signed in the early signing period, will join Reedsburg's Dylan Brown on the roster.
"Stanford is relatively new to golf as he started in just his freshman year of high school," Straight said in a statement. "Since that time, his game has improved greatly each year. Stanford is driven to improve and has very high character. As a hockey player, Stanford will be following in the footsteps of ... Dylan Brown, who was another star two-sport athlete from Wisconsin."
For his part, Swid is set on making an immediate impact on and off the course.
"I plan to go into Winona and compete," Swid wrote. "I want to be the best teammate possible in order for our team to be the best we can be. The expectation is to play well week in and week out. The tradition and expectation have been to win conference championships and compete for national championships. Throughout my summers, I am going to continue playing tournaments to make sure my game is ready and in good shape."