Georgia’s men’s golf tees its season off this weekend at the Carmel Cup in Pebble Beach, California.
Head coach Chris Haack and the Bulldogs have created a strong sense of unity and confidence leading up to their first tournament.
“Everybody seems to be on the same page and knows what’s at stake,” Haack said. “The team is deep this year and they know it… The best teams I’ve coached were all ultra competitive.”
With the addition of freshman Connor Creasy and the availability of redshirt senior Calum Masters after his mandated year off, there is no lack of competition for the five tournament spots each week.
“You want them stressed out here so that they’re relaxed when they get to the tournament,” Haack said.
The team echoed the idea that the newfound competition was healthy and that there was a strong sense of unity among them.
“We’re all right there as teammates,” Masters said.
Masters added that there wasn’t any separation between upperclassmen and underclassmen, and he was on the same page with his teammates, even without having played competitively for Georgia last season.
The team also stressed how high its goals were for the season and that the Carmel Cup was a strong, early way to work towards those heightened goals.
“The SEC championship and the national championship are our goals,” Masters said. “We’re not going to hide from that.”
Sophomore standout Trent Phillips added to that sentiment.
“If we can go out and win this tournament, then we can win out in the fall," Phillips said. "That’s how special [this team] is.”
There was also an expressed sense of collectivism within the team, the idea that the team’s goals superseded each golfer’s individual desires for the season.
“During the summer you’re traveling by yourself and now you’re surrounded by just a great group of guys,” senior Spencer Ralston said.
Georgia tees off on Friday and will play through Sunday.