As a 6-foot-3-inch high school sophomore, Dawson Anders could drive a ball more than 300 yards and had the meticulous short game required of a Division 1 golfer.
“My sophomore year of high school is when I started getting my scores down lower,” Anders said. “I definitely started to notice a little separation between me and some of the guys I played with in high school.”
A fifth-year golfer, Anders led by example the past three seasons as team captain. Whether it’s arriving at the driving range first or staying in the gym until the last teammate leaves, Anders leaves Temple University as one of the most dedicated workers head coach Brian Quinn has ever coached, Quinn said.
His competitive nature helped the Owls make an appearance at the American Athletic Championship from April 22 to 24, with an opportunity to compete for the AAC title. Even if they don’t win the tournament, they still have the player talent to advance in individual play, with Anders, junior Conor McGrath and sophomore Graham Chase.
“Having that competitive of a lineup really helps you stay motivated,” Anders said. “They’re your teammates, but like Quinn says, ‘you want to try and beat them still.’”
McGrath, Temple’s only golfer to shoot below a 72 on the season, noticed a change in his own work ethic after being around Anders his freshman year. Anders’ hard working mentality rubbed off on the junior, who began to show up to practices earlier and rarely missed training times, McGrath said.
“He definitely helped me to learn to do things the right way,” McGrath added. “Anders has the type of personality that brings about a change.”
As the “bar-setter” on the roster, Anders played some of his best golf this season. He finished 21st overall at the East Carolina University Intercollegiate on March 22 with an eight-over 224 and a personal season-best three-under 210 at the Princeton Invitational on April 10.
Daily 30-minute drives to the 1912 Club in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, hours playing on golf simulators and at the range and years of high-level pressure prepared Anders for those moments, he said.
But the game did not always come easy for Anders.
During his sophomore year at Temple, Anders was plagued with a slump. His drives were not reaching the distance he desired and his short game faltered. Anders was fatigued with a back injury and played in only three tournaments, finishing at a career-high seven over par on the season.
When his injury began hurting his game overall, Anders spent weeks focusing solely on his body instead of his game, dedicating hours to rehab and lifting weights as his teammates remained out on the courses.
The decision to put his rehab first came down to drive and commitment, he said. This desire is what stood out to Quinn when he started recruiting him as a kid, Quinn said.
“His work ethic is second-to-none,” Quinn added.
The Temple senior knew he wanted to golf at Temple early on in his career because of his proximity to the school while growing up in Souderton and its business programs he could enroll in.
From playing at Mainland Golf Course in Harleysville at the age of nine to competing in amateur tournaments at 11 years old, Anders was a college prospect from a young age. He made a lasting impression while being scouted by Quinn at the coach’s golf camp when Anders was in the 7th grade, Quinn said.
“He had a lot of great qualities that you’re looking for down the road,” Quinn said.
During his time at Temple, Anders learned to prioritize his education while finding time to play golf. He graduated from the Fox School of Business in 2021 with a business and management degree and will graduate with a masters in business in 2023.
Anders plans to pursue a professional golf career after graduating in May, while having his business degree to fall back on. Anders believes Temple has not only prepared him for his future, but has allowed him to become the person he is today, Anders said.
“I wouldn’t put anything past Anders,” Quinn said. “If he puts his mind to it he’s going to be able to achieve it.”