Ben Juffer finds home away from home in Little Apple


Ben Juffer first picked up a golf club when he was 3 years old. He was the self-proclaimed co-pilot whenever his dad would drive the golf cart, and occasionally, little Ben got to hit a few shots. As it turned out, he was pretty darn good. So good, in fact, that by third grade he was playing in tournaments. Golf was not always Juffer’s top priority, but in the back of his mind, he always knew he would end up on the course.

“Golf has always been my favorite sport,” said Juffer, now a senior in finance at K-State. “Growing up I played a lot of baseball in the summer so I didn’t have much time for golf, but once I started junior high I decided to quit baseball and focus solely on golf.”

It wasn’t an easy decision for Juffer, but it was something that he needed to do. Golf just came too naturally to ignore. He had undeniable talent.

“Out of all the sports I have played, for some reason, golf has always come the easiest for me, and I think that’s why I liked playing it so much,” he said.

Juffer’s love for golf ultimately made him a U.S. Junior Amateur. It seemed as though collegiate golf was a very real possibility. Being from Des Moines, Iowa, however, his collegiate destination was still up in the air.

“When I first started thinking about schools I really thought I would stay in Iowa,” he said.

Then along came K-State men’s golf coach Tim Norris. Norris convinced Juffer to make a visit to Manhattan. He knew if he could get Juffer to take a look, the Little Apple would seal the deal, and Norris was right.

“I think the overall family atmosphere of both the team and the city of Manhattan were big factors,” Juffer said. “Also, the fact that coach Norris was such a successful player on the PGA Tour was huge. He knows what it takes to make it to the next level.”

According to Juffer, adjusting to life in Kansas was not as easy as he imagined. Moving hundreds of miles away was a difficult change that forced Juffer to make new friends and adapt to new surroundings. He did, however, have one saving grace.

“The guys on the team definitely made it a lot easier for me,” Juffer said. “They were great.”

Fast-forward four years and Juffer has only a couple of tournaments left in his collegiate career. He has had ups and downs throughout his time at K-State, but overall, Juffer said, he likes the direction his game is headed.

“I feel like my golf career has gone well so far,” he said. “Every year my goal is to make my game better than it was the previous year. I think so far I have been able to do that.”

Juffer is now a co-captain for K-State and has collected a trove of memorable moments as a member of the men’s golf team.

“My favorite golf moment at K-State was last year’s Wyoming Cowboy Classic,” Juffer said. “It was my first individual college victory, and we also won as a team. It was definitely one of the most fun weeks of golf I have ever had.”

Beyond golf, Juffer is enjoying K-State’s recent athletic success just like other Wildcat fans.

“I loved watching this past football season,” he said. “It was so fun to watch our football team win week in and week out and bring home the Big 12 Championship.”

Juffer is hoping to finish this season strong, then complete his career as a student. He plans on graduating with a degree in finance, but he has every intention of pursuing a different dream.

“I plan on turning pro and trying to achieve my dream career of playing on the PGA tour,” Juffer said.