Meridian Star


November 4, 2013

Ogletree commits to No. 2 Georgia Tech

MERIDIAN — Union High School sophomore Andy Ogletree has dreams of one day earning a green jacket at Augusta — to get there he will become a Yellow Jacket first.

    While participating in the U.S. Collegiate Championships in Alpharetta, Ga. on Oct. 20, Ogletree announced he will begin his college career at Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets, who are currently ranked No. 2 by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, beat out in-state schools Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Southern Miss as well as Georgia and LSU for Ogletee’s commitment.

    “I took a few visits and just loved it,” Ogletree said. “The facilities they have are amazing. You get full membership to East Lake and Golf Club of Georgia, it’s just incredible. I want to go pro, and this will be the best place to let me do that.”

    Ogletree is Georgia Tech’s only commitment for the Class of 2016. Despite receiving  plenty of interest across the Southeast, he said the choice to play for the Yellow Jackets became clear.

    “I just thought it was a no-brainer,” Ogletree said. “I kind of wanted to get it off my shoulders and feel a little bit more free about it. Now, I don’t have to worry about anything. I just have to go out and compete as best as I can and improve before I go there.”

    Georgia Tech head golf coach Bruce Heppler has been recruiting Ogletree hard since the summer. It’s not difficult to see why either. Ogletree has already won back-to-back 2A state championships during his 8th grade and freshman years at Union. He also won the 2013 Future Tour Championship in Greenville in June before traveling overnight to  capture his first American Junior Golf Association win Ringgold, Ga.

    “They just like that I’m an athlete,” Ogletree said. “The college courses these days are so long, you need a player that can hit it a long ways. I’m pretty long off the tee. (Heppler) said that there is a type of player that he recruits and that I was the type of player he wanted on the team.”

    Though he grew up in the small town of Little Rock, much of Ogletree’s golfing career was spent at Northwood Country Club in Meridian. After noticing his talent in the back yard at the age of five, Andy’s father Jim brought him to Northwood and former head golf pro Jimmy Gamblin to get his start on the greens.

    “When I first saw Andy, it was unbelievable,” Gamblin said. “When he was five years old, he could do things that eight, nine, 10 and 11-year-olds couldn’t do.”

    Working with Gamblin over his early career, Ogletree said his mentor has not only provided him with countless pointers, but more importantly the ability to coach himself. While other players bring swing coaches to tournaments, Ogletree comes only with the knowledge provided to him by Gamblin.

    “I can video my swing and just fix it myself now,” Ogletree said. “That’s one of the biggest things to me. He’s never used any of the tracking stuff. He’s old-school.”

    Gamblin said his approach has always been to build independence and confidence in Ogletree while not trying alter his swing too much.

    The trust between the two is so strong that Ogletree even included Gamblin in his decision to commit.

    “I talked with him throughout the whole recruiting thing,” Ogletree said. “I talked to him after all my visits. He thinks the same way I do about (Georgia Tech). It was really  a group decision.”

    Ogletree is scheduled to graduate in May of 2016 and said he plans on majoring in business with an emphasis on accounting while at Georgia Tech.

    “He’s got all the tools right now,” Gamblin said. “I really believe that Andy could go out tomorrow and compete on the college level.”

Text Only
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

Local Sports