Will Dickson was a top junior golfer and committed to play at Georgia Tech. In his freshman year, he tore his ACL/MCL and had to sit out for 10 months. When he came back, he struggled significantly. During COVID, he went to Waynesboro, Georgia, where he played golf with the locals. There, he re-learned how to enjoy golf and shoot low scores again. He played well his senior year and turned pro.
Being from Rhode Island, Will knew that he couldn't play golf competitively from October to April. So, his father made the sacrifice to travel with him around the country to compete in national tournaments. This early exposure to national tournaments gave Will an edge over his peers. He was able to play against the best players in the country and learn from their game. This experience also helped him develop the skills needed to play in different environments, which is a crucial aspect of college golf. Will advises young golfers to get out and play in national tournaments as soon as possible.
The transition from high school to college golf can be daunting and overwhelming for some. This is especially true for those who were the top players in their high school and are suddenly surrounded by equally talented players. The pressure to perform and impress can be immense, leading to struggles on and off the course. Will shared his experiences of overcoming struggles in college golf. He talked about his journey from being a “big fish in a small pond” in Rhode Island to playing for Georgia Tech. He faced several challenges in his first three years of college golf, including a knee injury, poor performance in tournaments, and strained relationships with family and friends. However, he did not give up. He worked hard to improve his game and his relationships. He saw signs of improvement in his junior year, but it was not until COVID hit that he rediscovered his love for the game. Moving away from campus to a small town, he played money games with the locals and had the most fun he had ever had on the golf course. This experience helped him overcome his struggles and reignited his passion for the game.
For more information, listen to the episode here https://rss.com/podcasts/thetournamentcode/