Whole in One

Oct. 16, 2011

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

On Tuesday afternoon at The Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, there’s going to be a family reunion like no other, when the Georgia Tech golf team holds its annual Ramblin’ Wreck Cup.

The event is the program’s annual fundraiser and this year Tech is bringing in its heavy hitters.

Head coach Bruce Heppler and assistant coach Christian Newton are making an effort to recognize the tradition and history of Georgia Tech Golf by reaching out to alumni, many of which play professionally on the PGA Tour.

“This is really the first year that we’ve tried to involve them,” said Heppler. “The Tour players have responded terrifically and so we have a good group coming. We’ll have a current or former player in every group, kind of selling the program and thanking the donors for what they’ve done. We hope we’ll have a great event.”

Heppler has already received confirmation from former Jackets Stewart Cink, Bryce Molder, Cameron Tringale, Troy Matteson, Roberto Castro, Chesson Hadley and John-Tyler Griffin. Matt Weibring and Nicholas Thompson may attend the event — although Heppler pointed out that they have an important event on the Nationwide beginning on Thursday, which may take precedence.

Everybody who attends will win on Tuesday, as donors, who have paid a $750 entry fee, not only get the satisfaction of helping out the golf program, but also get to play a round with a famous Tech alumnus or a current Yellow Jacket. The Jackets past and present, meanwhile, get a unique opportunity to share their tales of life on the Flats and on the Tour.

“[Alumni] enjoy being around [current players],” said Heppler. “It continues to fuel the fire and the dream that they went to school here and now they’re out there getting to do that. So for them it’s a big thrill to be around and just see that they’re regular people, too. It’s something that you need to continue to have the dream that you can do that so it’s a great day for the current guys.”

The day is special for Heppler to recognize the players who have written previous chapters in the program’s storied past.

“It’s nice that those guys feel good enough about the program and their experience here to want to come back and do that stuff,” he said. “They love to help. They were helped, so they want to help those guys. It’s a little bit of an alumni fraternity group for them. So they’re always going to try to do as much for the younger guys as they can.

“I guess the funnest part of coaching is watching people get to see their dreams come true,” he added. “They work so hard and then when they get stuff done and you watch them grow, you feel like hopefully you are a little part of their progression and their life experience. To get to see people that you care an awful lot about get to do what they want and get to see their dreams come true, that’s a pretty special deal.”

Tuesday promises to be a pretty special deal as well.

Most of the spots have been filled, but anyone seeking a last-minute spot in a group on Tuesday have until noon to contact Coach Heppler (404-894-0961 or bheppler@athletics.gatech.edu) or Coach Newton (404-894-4423 or at cnewton@athletics.gatech.edu).

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