Adam Wood: Former State Champion Returns This Season as Head Coach

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This month, Zionsville Monthly is honored to feature Head Coach Adam Wood on our cover … again! Wood first graced our publication’s cover in 2013. Wood, a Zionsville Community High School 2014 graduate, was a 4-year letter-winner for former head coach Steve Simmons, a 3-time all-state selection and 2013 Indiana High School Athletic Association state champion. Wood sat down with us to discuss his goals this season for the ZCHS Boy’s Golf program.

A Stellar Student/Collegiate Athletic Career

Wood set school records as a junior for stroke average (70.8) and birdies (60), posted a 65 (−5) to match a school record at the Highland Invitational, posted a five-under 67 at the Golf Club of Indiana in sectional play, posted a 72.0 stroke average with 55 birdies as a sophomore, was an individual runner-up at the 2011 state championship, closed his freshman campaign with a 72.8 stroke average and 52 birdies and helped the team to a fourth-place finish in the 2010 state tournament.

Wood holds the lowest scoring average in program history. He earned an athletic scholarship to attend and compete at Duke University. Wood led Duke with a 72.7 stroke average his freshman year, the second-best stroke average by a freshman in program history. While a Blue Devil, he was an Academic All-American, a Co-Captain and an All-ACC [Atlantic Coast Conference] player. Wood competed in 115 rounds while at Duke. This past spring, Wood was an assistant for the Zionsville golf team, and he looks forward to helping continue the competitive tradition of Zionsville golf.

Wood shared his thoughts on how the ZCHS boy’s golf program prepared him for playing at the collegiate level.

“In terms of competitive golf at the collegiate level, especially in a Power Five conference, there is definitely a step up, but I felt that I was prepared,” Wood said. “I don’t think the game changes, but the level of competition around you does. There’s a lot of competitive players at that level. I did well my first two years [at Duke], and I think that Zionsville prepared me very well. I give great credit to [former head coach] Steve Simmons. The schedule that we played and still play prepared me well.”

Wood continued, “The [schedule] template that he laid out, we pretty much play 16-18 events, and they are the best events. They are 18-hole invitational events that take place on Saturdays, so that’s a lot of weekends playing out at a lot of country clubs and premier courses in the local area and around the state of Indiana. Looking back, I needed that spring competition and that development, and again, I give great credit to Coach Simmons for building out a schedule like that, which gives the players the best chance to develop and prepare.”

Setting Up Goals That Include the PGA Tour

Wood went pro in 2019, but Wood’s pro golfing goals were disrupted in 2020 and redirected in the immediate years following until now.

“I did want to play professionally [while in college] — that’s the hallmark of many players that play in Power Five conferences, particularly in the ACC,” Wood stated. “You have visions of being a starting player for all the events while representing your team, and you probably have playing professional golf on your horizon. I was no exception to that. I did play professionally for a few years and plan on having a professional schedule at the conclusion of our [ZCHS] team season next spring. I would like to see myself playing a full-time schedule on the PGA Tour. I’m just not there yet, and I have to earn that, but I would like to get my chance.”

While Wood continues to train and work towards his pro golf goals, he and his wife, Dr. Lindsey Wood, have come back to Zionsville, their hometown, and are happy to be back with their families who are longtime residents of the town. Wood is also thrilled to have worked with his former coach, Steve Simmons, as an assistant coach with the ZCSH Boy’s Golf program before stepping up as head coach when Simmons accepted the head coach position at Marion University this past July.

“I enjoy coaching and being in Zionsville,” Wood expressed. “I have a pretty unique skill set to provide a good experience for the [ZCHS golf] guys. We have a competitive golf heritage that goes all the way back to Coach Dave Sollman when they won the state championship two times. His son, Michael, was a teammate of mine, and his dad was our coach. So, we have a long tradition of competitive play, and I would like to continue that. We have a great list of players who have gone on to play collegiate-level golf, and I would like to continue that tradition and would like for that option to continue to exist for the players who want to pursue it.”

Community Support Is Key

Wood spoke about the importance of community and family support both as a former ZCHS player and now as head coach of the program that developed him as a player.

“I have to give credit to Coach Sollman and Coach Simmons as well as the middle school coaches for the great schedules and support that they provide our players,” Wood sincerely stated. “I can’t overstate the importance of the support provided by the athletic department and the support of the parents. Certainly, the coaches play a part in it, but being able to take your players and compete against the very best teams with great frequency — every weekend — makes a very tangible difference throughout the season and in what the overall experience is like for the players.”

Wood concluded, “Having community support helps build confidence and belief as a player. We have the Golf Club of Indiana where we have practiced and played, and having access and the ability to play is important. Not every club or course would go for having 25 players [JV and Varsity] showing up at their course every day. The Golf Club of Indiana and Jeff Rubenstein [Director of Golf at Golf Club of Indiana] have permitted us to do that for a long time, and that’s just the kind of support we need. And having the fans out there for some of the big season matches feeds the confidence and positive energy that you can get as a player and helps you to really enjoy your experience. It’s important for both the [ZCHS] Boys and Girls teams. We have [historically] enjoyed that [support], and we hope that we continue to enjoy that.”

When asked about his own family’s ongoing support of his career path, Wood emphasized, “It would be a significant understatement to say my parents have been very supportive. They basically have been with me through everything — from playing in high school and college to playing professionally. And now, being a coach as well on top of that, they have been very supportive.”