Baylor men’s golf hopes to carry over fall momentum, start fast at The Prestige

The Prestige has included notable collegiate golfers including U.S. Open Champions Wyndham Clark, John Rahm and Gary Woodland, as well as 2023 Ryder Cup participants Ludvig Aberg, Victor Hovland, Rahm, Sam Burns, Clark and more. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Tyler White | Sports Writer

Baylor men’s golf is set to begin its spring season on Feb. 19 at The Prestige in California. The Bears have been working hard since the fall portion ended, with the goal being to be ready for the spring slate.

Head coach Mike McGraw said his group is ready to get out and compete against other athletes. He said the Bears have had great weather to prepare and practice outside, and they are ready for The Prestige to kick off the season.

“It’s a month long of anticipation waiting to compete and we haven’t competed in little over three months, so we’re ready and excited,” McGraw said.

McGraw said they had a couple of rounds of qualifying, as well as intrasquad tournaments to prepare the lineup of five for The Prestige, yet all of the golfers are going to perform individually as well as with the team. He said they’ve been working hard since coming back from break, and they are ready to finally square off with other people.

“It’s been nice to be able to get outside and play and practice and compete with each other,” McGraw said. “But they’re trying to beat up on each other — they’d like to go try some other teams.”

He said that as a coach, he is anticipating to see how his coaching and preparation has set this team for success. He said he is ready to hopefully see the results of all the prep over the break and beginning of the semester with the team.

“I think the anticipation for a coach is always great because you hope you’ve done a good enough job of getting them ready for the competition, you hope you’ve done a good enough job of coaching,” McGraw said. “You know, you hope that things that you’ve created, the environment you created, has been a positive one where they can thrive.”

Graduate student Luke Dossey said the entire team has been working hard every day to prepare for the beginning of the season. He said they have been taking any extra time out of their day to put the work in and get extra practice in.

“This is probably like the hardest I’ve seen everyone as a team collectively work,” Dossey said. “A lot of the guys are putting in a lot of early hours before classes and stuff. We had a good fall season, but the spring is kind of where it’s the main focus of our season, you could say, when we start getting into postseason and regionals and nationals. I think just as a team, everyone’s kind of putting in that extra work already.”

Dossey, alongside graduate students Tyler Isenhart and Johnny Keefer, is a fifth-year golfer and hoping to make a strong final impression. He said that it’s motivation to push for excellence so that they can go out on a high note.

“This is kind of our going out party, and so we want to kind of finish off on a good note,” Dossey said.

As he prepares for his final season of golf at Baylor, he said he wants to strive to be an impactful leader for the team. As a few seniors and graduate students leave the program, he said he wants to make a lasting mark that will help the younger golfers on the team.

“I’m just doing whatever I can to just be a servant leader, be a vocal leader, and just do things the right way on and off the golf course to set an example for the younger guys so that they can step into that leadership role well,” Dossey said.

He said after a disappointing end to nationals last year, the team is ready to get back on track and leave off with a great performance. He said they are ready to show all the work they’ve been putting in and showcase their talent.

“I think we’re just ready to get back to that stage … just to kind of show that at the end of the year and kind of show all the work that we’ve been putting in.”

McGraw said the team is just anticipating the beginning of the season. After weeks of work, he said they are ready to get out there and compete against others.

“We prepared, we’re excited, we’ve waited and now we’re getting ready to go compete,” McGraw said.

McGraw has not announced his five-man lineup for the three-day event yet, but the Bears will tee off on Monday in Palm Springs. It will come to a close on Wednesday.

Tyler White is a senior Journalism major from Yorba Linda, California, with minors in religion and philosophy. He is most looking forward to developing his writing and reporting craft in the Lariat and to work alongside other writers. As a member of the Baylor Coed Cheer team, he enjoys supporting all Baylor sports. After graduation, he plans on going to grad school and eventually working in publication for the music industry.