Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

UT Golf Club to host 2024 Golf Regional Championships

Peyton Sims
Professional golfer Scottie Scheffler sets up his ball and tee at the Dell Match Play tournament on March 26.

A possible home advantage awaits the Texas men’s golf team for this year’s NCAA tournament.

The University of Texas Golf Club, located in the Texas Hill Country, will host a portion of the Regional Championships May 13-15 for the sixth time in club history. Its par 71 course spans 7,412 yards and awarded the Longhorns a previous regional title back in 2019.

“We always want to host a great (regional) championship because that’s how teams advance to the national championship,” said Greg Garner, the club’s head golf professional. “And we’d like for our experience to, you know, be representative of the University of Texas and the quality athletic facilities.”

The club’s course setup will be altered slightly to accommodate the weight required of a regional competition, with preparations for the facilities supported by Texas Athletics starting around January.

“This time of year, we establish what the goal is going to be for the NCAA regional and the rest of our peak season,” Garner said. “That includes a (higher) green speed goal, includes a little tighter straightaway line, (and) establishing a little higher rough mowing height.”

These adjustments increase the course’s difficulty, making for more demanding competition between qualifying collegiate programs and current golf club members. 

If the site is selected, it offers an advantage to the Texas program, with practice opportunities available prior to the tournament. The UT Golf Club houses a majority of the Longhorns’ training facilities, and, per NCAA policy, hosting teams are not required to vacate their practice grounds before the event. 

Familiarity with a course provides an upper hand in preparations for the competition but also increases the expectation of a positive result.  

“There also comes a lot of pressure with playing at home,” Garner said. “Everybody is watching. Everybody knows the scores your team’s shooting, and how they finish. … You’re more exposed all the way around to the visibility of the program and the performance, so I think it’s tougher than people think.”

To qualify for the regional event, teams must compete at the divisional conference tournament before a selection committee. This year, Texas will face No. 15 Oklahoma, No. 24 Texas Tech and the rest of the Big 12 at Whispering Pines in Trinity, Texas, April 22-24. The Red Raiders recently tied for fourth in the team competition at the Amer Ari Invitational, while the Longhorns finished 15th.

The selection committee awards an automatic qualification to the conference champions and then provides at-large bids based on season performance to fill the 81 team slots and 45 individual regional pools. 

After working with Oklahoma State to create a permanent championship course, Texas Golf will also serve as the host institution for the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Championships at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California.

“Obviously, with us being the host for that main event, it makes sense for us to do a regional, and also, you know, we want to show what kind of assets, facility operations, and people that we can bring to that to make the championship better,” Garner said.

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About the Contributor
Peyton Sims, Associate Photo Editor
Peyton is senior journalism student at UT Austin. During this fall semester, she's an Associate Photo Editor for The Daily Texan and she's a true crime Podcast Producer for The Drag Audio Production House.