My Shot What's the secret to success on the course and in the classroom? Practice, and avoid chemistry

May 07, 2000

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.

Bryce Molder is No. 2 in the college rankings, and his team is
No. 1.

COLOR PHOTO: DAWN VILLELLA/AP

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Eagle (-2)
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