I didn't think it was a big deal when all nine guys on our golf team made the dean's list last semester, but since SPORTS ILLUSTRATED told the world what we accomplished (April 24), tons of people on campus have asked us, "How did you do it?"
The answer is simple: Nobody took chemistry. Before last fall, every semester a couple of guys, including me, had to take Chem 1002, a killer five-credit class, and most of us got C's. The team still kept a good GPA, averaging about 3.4, but we couldn't get everybody above the 3.0 cutoff required for dean's list.
At Georgia Tech golf is second to school. That's the law laid down by coach Bruce Heppler. Fulfilling academic obligations is a huge help with golf because it makes us efficient with our time. Now when I go to the range, I get more done in one hour than I used to in two. We're so organized that only one player, sophomore Troy Matteson, routinely has to bring his books on road trips, but that's because he's a civil engineering major.
I'm a junior business management major, and I've had some great classes. The best was General Psych. I won't forget the video our professor showed on positive reinforcement. It had a bunch of hamsters playing basketball with a tiny ball—no joke. It took six months to teach the hamsters to shoot.
Each player has his own method for doing well in school. For me, it's persistence, showing up for class and going to the library. Matt Kuchar is amazing at working the system. He looks up old tests, gets people to take notes for him when we're away and is a master at buttering up profs.
To repeat our dean's list performance this semester will probably depend on whether Matt and Wes Latimer, a junior, survive Strategic Management with professor Philip Adler Jr. It's a senior-level course for business majors, and Adler is brutally hard. Fortunately, I don't have to take the class until next semester, and Adler is retiring this spring.