It is a new year, golf and life venue for former Camden Hills Regional High School links standout Cole Anderson.

The three-time Maine Class A individual champion has launched the next step in his impressive golf career — and even nailed down a win in a recent tournament — as he now calls Florida State University home

The freshman graduated from CHRHS after the first semester of his senior year — but will return home after his final exams in May for his actual graduation ceremony — and uses the beautiful Sunshine State weather to his advantage, as his former high school peers wait for warmth to arrive.

"College golf has been good so far," said Anderson. "In order to save four full years of eligibility, I am redshirting this semester, so I haven’t been competing at any collegiate events. It’s been a lot of practicing, evaluating where I need to get better, and trying to prepare myself for the summer schedule leading into next fall."

With a step up in the golf ranks comes longer days during each season, something he only experienced during the warm months of the year back home.

"The biggest difference is, honestly, the fact that I have to balance my studies with a practice schedule that is more similar to something I would do at home in the summer," said Anderson. "I’ve obviously had to do that somewhat with high school golf, but never at the same level as here. [I have] lifts at six [in the morning], class at eight, treatment with sports medicine at 11, lunch at noon, [I'm] to the course by one and practice until six or seven. Then it’s back to the room and homework."

Despite the grueling hours of work, the regime was something the 18-year-old tried to acclimate to before he left home.

"I think to an extent, I sort of knew what to expect with college golf, as I tried to structure my work at home as close as I could to how programs like FSU operate," said Anderson. "Early morning lifts, a good balance of playing versus practicing, and always trying to be as competitive as possible in anything I do."

"I think some of the advice I got from some important people in my life about just being prepared to be patient has helped a ton, because it gave me some clarity about this semester," he said. "What I mean is I’m not afraid to struggle with my game here and there, by making some changes right now with the thought in mind that long term, I’m going to be a better golfer because of it."

The Seminole freshman, who plays out of the Samoset Resort in Rockport when he is home, has been on campus since January, but in the past three months, Anderson's stellar play, that spectators in Maine have come to know, respect and appreciate, has gotten better.

"I’m more consistent," said Anderson. "The coaches and I have done a really good job of looking at where my game goes wrong, when I don’t score well, and [are] really attacking those areas in my practice to build a much more well-balanced golfer, so that on the days where I’m not playing well, it is much easier for me to get a decent score into the clubhouse. That makes a big difference when you’re playing in higher level events where the differences in skill are so miniscule."

Anderson, the son of Derek and Tia Anderson of Camden, will not compete in any collegiate events at this point due to his redshirt status (he officially will start his four years of eligibility in the fall), but he got his first taste of competition since last year when he teed it up Friday through Sunday, March 8-10 in the Florida Azalea Amateur tournament at the Palatka Golf Club in Palatka, Fla.

According to AmateurGolf.com, Anderson took home the title as he finished 9-under for the tournament, ahead of Jet Tickle, a freshman at the University of Tennessee.

Anderson finished with rounds of 68, 67 and 66 for 201 — and a four-stroke win — on the par-70 course, as he passed Tallahassee native Sean Butscher in the final round.

"It felt great to get back into the competitive scene," Anderson said. "That was my first event since October, and I was itching to get back and play some tournaments again. I played great all things considered. [I] managed what I had really well, and was able to put three pretty solid scores together."

"[The] field was solid, probably not as deep as some I’ve played, but there were some good collegiate players there, and the U.S. Mid-Amateur champion Kevin O’Connell was there also," he said. "Any time you’re in a tournament where somebody in the field is playing in the Masters, you’re feeling pretty good about the event."

Anderson's first few months in a collegiate program played a factor in his tournament win also.

"I felt very comfortable [during the tournament] and definitely saw some improvements in the areas I’ve been focusing on in Tallahassee," he said. "It's obviously always good to get a win, but this one felt great, as it validated some of what I had been seeing in my preparation for the summer."

When asked what the biggest difference in college golf was up to this point, Anderson said it has nothing to do with the sport.

"Probably not the answer you were looking for, but the food is way better than I expected," he said. "There’s a dining hall in the football stadium that most of the student athletes eat at, and it’s amazing food. On the golf side, it’s more or less what I expected, having been here only a couple months or so."