TIFTON — Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) men’s golf team came in 10th last year for the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division II National Championship.

Head coach Larry Byrnes plans to have 10 players on the team for the fall and then the team will drop down to eight in the spring semester.

“I don’t recruit the best golfers, I’m not going to get them because we’re a junior college,” said Byrnes. “But if they have good work ethic and character, golf will take care of itself. That’s been my philosophy.”

Byrnes will take his team to four tournaments during the fall semester and in the spring the team will play in five to six tournaments. There won’t be any local tournaments this year for ABAC golf; they will be on the road playing all over the southeast.

Byrnes encourages his players to participate in as many golf tournaments as possible over the summer months when they aren’t at school.

“I want them to play competitive golf,” said Byrnes. “There’s a lot of difference between competitive golf and us going out banging a ball around during the day.”

Tyler White from Bridgenorth, Canada, has been picked to be the team captain this year. He won the Kawartha Invitational in Peterborough, Canada, this summer as one of the youngest players to ever win the tournament.

Canadians have filled the ABAC golf roster since before Byrnes took command over the team. Byrnes has a recruiter that works with him in Canada, and she sends him great players for his team.

“Every player I have had from Canada, their work ethic is second to none,” said Byrnes. “They kind of set the tone for the rest of the guys on the team.”

Character building is very important to Byrnes. He brings in guest speakers to talk to his team; such as his friend that is a Secret Service agent.

“I try to get speakers that are going to talk to them about life,” said Byrnes. “This isn’t about golf, it’s about life.”

Byrnes is looking forward to another year coaching his players on the golf course and teaching them life lessons off the course.

For more information about ABAC golf, contact athletic director Alan Kramer by calling 229-391-4928 or emailing akramer@abac.edu.

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