On a roster that boasts returning players like sophomore Brandon Matthews and junior Matt Teesdale, freshman Evan Galbreath has stood out in fall play.
“[Galbreath] is super raw,” coach Brian Quinn said. “He will have a lot of ability. He’s got to learn how to manage his game. He’s changed his swing dramatically since he’s been with us at Temple, which is something he needed to do.”
“He’s a little young,” Quinn added. “He wants to try to hit the ball real far, which I love. But we got to try and get him to hone his game a little bit.”
The first three tournaments for Galbreath have been difficult, but he said it’s a learning process.
“You step up to this level and it’s different,” Galbreath said. “Every tournament, you’re not just playing to play good, you’re playing to learn. Every tournament that goes by, you should know a little bit more on what to do.”
The learning curve from high school to college is a steep one, Galbreath said.
“The biggest thing is the talent and the skill level,” Galbreath, a Lower Moreland High School alumnus, said. “I played with one kid from [Central Florida] in the first tournament, and he said he was from Finland and he was on the Finnish national golf team, so obviously you notice you’re not playing with some random kid from around your area. You’re playing with national and international college players.”
Galbreath isn’t raw in the sense that he just started playing the sport, but over the last few years, his handicap has dipped lower and lower.
“I’ve been playing my whole life,” Galbreath said. “I just didn’t start getting good until the last few years. It started clicking and every year I’ve improved more and more. This past summer I went from level five to level 10 in one summer.”
Matthews said he sees promise in Galbreath’s abilities, but knows firsthand that improving takes work.
“If he shows that drive, I think he can be a great golfer,” Matthews said. “I think he’s a really, really good player. I would say he has the most potential to be as good as he wants to be because he has so much raw ability.”
With his standout freshman season, Matthews has set an example for the younger group of golfers to follow – something Galbreath has noticed.
“You can’t not want to have a player of that caliber on your team,” Galbreath said. “You know that every tournament, you’re pretty much going to be there and he’s going to help lead your team. When I play in tournaments, I’m out there and I want to be there with him, so that’s a positive.”
With Matthews setting the bar so high, though, the expectations for the rest of the team have increased.
“It’s also tough because you want to chase and chase, but sometimes your expectations lead to where his level is and you’re just not there yet,” Galbreath said. “But in your head you’re thinking you should be there because somebody on my team is there.”
Something that remains the same in golf, no matter what level of competition, is the mental aspect of the game, which is something Galbreath said he must improve on.
“Confidence,” Galbreath said. “This is a big mental game. You’re out there all day and you’re pretty much by yourself even if you’re on a team. It’s not like basketball or football where you can pass it off to somebody else. It’s pretty much just you all day. To do that and to play well, you have to have a mental edge on you.”
Chase Senior can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Chase_Senior.