The ACU men’s golf team begins its fall season this weekend at the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Led by old faces, such as senior Dillon Vaughn and junior Robert Johnson, the team will also be sporting new talented pieces, including transfer Ryan Beatty and freshman Garrett Glanton.
“From a competitive standpoint, there’s less drop off from the top of the lineup to the bottom,” head coach Ton Shaw said. “Everybody’s in the same boat, athletically speaking, so there’s going to be some guys that maybe thought they could, in years past, coast their way into the lineup, but now, it’s ‘I gotta bring my game, every week, to try and play in the next tournament.'”
Shaw said that the excess of talent in the ACU golf program this season will ultimately make the players better while competing with each other for playing time.
“It’s good in that aspect for me, it’s probably harder on the players, that they know that it’s tougher, but that’s going to make us a better team,” Shaw said.
Entering Shaw’s second season as head coach and ACU’s third season in the Southland conference, the golf team will have its work cut out against some of the conference’s best.
“I think it’s a great conference,” Shaw said. “We have four teams that went to the postseason last year, which is almost unheard of for a mid-major conference, so it’s very deep, and last year, we competed pretty well against those guys with a team that I thought maybe wasn’t ready for that, so this year, not to lay expectations on the guys, but I don’t think they’re scared of anybody in the conference. Sam Houston, Lamar, McNeese, Southeastern (La.), great teams, but my guys aren’t afraid of that. They’re up for the challenge and they’re chopping at the bit to compete against those guys.”