Ogletree adjusting to life at Ga. TechBy ROBBIE ROBERTSON,
Union’s Andy Ogletree was a lot like any average college freshman, trying to figure out the basics of time management.
But there were some subtle differences. Ogletree was playing college golf at Georgia Tech, more than 300 miles from his hometown of Union at one of the nation’s toughest, most prestigious academic universities.
“I had a lot thrown at me in my first semester and didn’t play very well,” Ogletree said. “I wasn’t really on top of everything, balancing social life, golf and everything I had to do. It was a lot to get under control. But I got a lot more disciplined with my time management the second semester and I think it showed in my golf game.”
Ogletree said the days were often long, beginning with a 6 a.m. workout four days a week. After the workouts, he would attend class until noon three days a week and until 2 p.m. two days a week. After school, he would head to the golf course where he worked on his golf game until dark. Then it was off to the dorms to study and prepare for classes the next day. On top of the daily routine, Ogletree was learning to play college golf and become more of a game manager.
“It was so much fun,” Ogletree said. “I played in every tournament and got a lot of experience. I had seven top 22s and that’s pretty good for a freshman. And the school was really tough as well. I think that’s what makes Georgia Tech what it is, we are so ready for what comes at us after college. I don’t think other places have it has hard as we do at Georgia Tech.”
Once the season started in the spring, things got better for Ogletree and he started to reap some of the benefits of playing at Georgia Tech. The season started off with trips to Hawaii, Puerto Rico and West Palm Beach, Fla. And squeezed into a busy spring schedule, Ogletree got to play his first round at Augusta National, home of the Masters.
“Playing at Augusta was definitely a highlight,” Ogletree said. “There are a lot of really nice courses but there’s just nothing like Augusta. Just the tradition and how famous it is. You just can’t explain it. And then we started the season off by playing in Hawaii and Puerto Rico. That was really fun. And it’s tough because you have to qualify to play every week. So there’s the competitive part of it that was really fun.”
Ogletree said he sat down with the Georgia Tech staff before leaving for the summer to map out his summer schedule.
“I’m playing in tournaments in New York, Atlanta, Hilton Head and Chicago,” Ogletree said. “Most of these tournaments are hard to get into and the coaches help us with that. I have played a lot of golf in the Southeast so I wanted to play in some other parts of the country. I’m not used to the bent grass and the wind that you get in other parts of the country. And hopefully along the way this summer, I can qualify for the U.S. Amateur and that’s in California.”
Ogletree said his main goal as a freshman was to make all of the tournaments and he feels like he will be better prepared for his sophomore year.
“I learned so much this year,” Ogletree said. “Every day is a competition. And you have to learn how to manage your time while you balance schools and tournaments and studying at tournaments. I feel like next year, I’ll be better prepared for all of that. My goal this year is to make All-American and I was close to that this year but didn’t get it. I feel like that’s a reachable goal.”