What’s The Word? Harris English

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What’s The Word? Harris English

This man needs no introduction, so all I say is this is one damn good golfer, damn good man, and Damn Good Dawg. The four time winner on the PGA Tour, Ryder Cup Champ, and University of Georgia Alumnus has left his mark on his hometown, his high school, Athens, UGA, the Tour, and now, in his current town of St. Simons/Sea Island. He represents all of his communities. This is Harris English. Enjoy!

Life before UGA





I was born in Valdosta, Georgia, but spent most of my childhood in Moultrie. I lived there from the age of five until right before high school when I went to a boarding school in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Baylor School. My mom sent me for academic reasons while my dad sent me for a little bit of both, academics and athletics. However, in both parts of my life, it was a great transition. It was a challenge that I needed to face. My goal was to attend a major Division I college and play golf there, so going up to Baylor exposed me to great competition and great golf programs where I really became a better golfer. Luckily ‘Haacker’ [Coach Chris Haack] recruited me, and next thing I know, I was at the University of Georgia.

Recruiting Journey

The year prior to me coming to Georgia, 2005, they won a national title. In addition, I was coming into a program where I grew up playing with a lot of the older guys as well as the guys in my class. In my class, I was with Russell Henley and Lowry Thomas, two great friends of mine. In the class above there was Hudson Swafford. I mean Brian Harman, Michael Green, Rob Bennett, all these guys I grew up playing with. Ultimately, it was an easy decision, and Georgia was it.





Why are Athens and UGA special to you?

I think it is a huge family. From the moment I moved into East Campus until the time I left, the experience I had here at Georgia was amazing, top to bottom. I just love the atmosphere in Athens. Even if I wasn’t a college student I could live there. The people, the community, they really are special. The people bleed Red and Black and will do anything for the others in their community. I felt that as a student-athlete. There were people outside of my team that I could lean on who would drop and do anything for me. My four years were awesome, and they went too fast; nonetheless, I enjoyed every second of it.

Head Coach Haack and Assistant Coach Douglas

Coach Haack and my assistant coach Jim Douglas were amazing. They weren’t just coaches, they were great friends. They were father figures to all of us; yes, they were tough on us, but they would also put their arm around us and lift us up. We didn’t want to let them down because they weren’t going to let us down. My favorite memories of the two were our road trips. I think this is what separated our team from others. At home, we grinded harder than anyone in the weight room and on the course, but on the road, we were loose, we had fun, and those two made that atmosphere for us. The two of them had the quirkiest eating habits and superstitions. I remember we were playing at the University of Texas’ home course, Morris Williams, and going into the final day, we were in 2nd or 3rd. I didn’t see Haacker all day. He went to the clubhouse to use the bathroom, and we started playing well, so he just stayed up there out of the way, and let us keep playing. Coach Douglas would get on this kick of Twix bars. If we made a birdie while he was eating a Twix, then he was going to eat Twix bars all day. They kept us loose and having fun out there, and that’s why we played well.

Favorite moment at UGA

It was the first year the NCAA tournament was moved to match play, and we were playing Oklahoma State. They were the other big juggernaut in college golf. It always felt like we were battling with them when it mattered. Brian Harman was facing Rickie Fowler, and I think on the final four holes, the momentum favoring one up Rickie switched and Brian came out with the win. This was prior to these tournaments being televised on the golf channel, but man, I wish it was because it was classic.

How did UGA Golf prepare you for the Tour?

Haacker did a great job in not picking favorites. For each tournament, he gave us a fresh start. Those were our best battles. In order to play in the tournament, you had to be top five on the team. Our team was filled with unbelievable competition, so if you made the cut for the Georgia golf team, you entered that next tournament with a lot of confidence. The Tour is no different. Week in and week out, you have to compete, you have to qualify, you have to beat guys in order to keep playing. Haacker not picking favorites set us all equal going into each tournament and whoever was playing good golf at that time, they were going to play. That’s what made our team not good, but great. We made each other better.

Do the Dawgs on Tour hang out at tournaments?

We hang out all the time. At least once a year, we all try to rent a house together for a tournament, so out in Hawaii this year, there were about five or six of us in a house. It really is a great brotherhood. We love seeing one another succeed. When I was coming on my recruiting trips, it was Kevin Kisner, Chris Kirk, and Brendon Todd who took me under their wing, when I was 15 or 16-years old. Now, I want to return the favor, so in turn, I try to look out for Keith MItchell, Greyson Sigg, and Sepp Straka. That’s why it is such a cool brotherhood. We look out for one another, and we all love to represent the University of Georgia. The other guys on Tour know who the Georgia guys are, and they’ll say, ‘Man, Georgia has taken over the Tour.’

The Ryder Cup

It was an unbelievable experience. Since I got on Tour, it has been a goal of mine, a bucket list type thing to represent America and play in the Ryder Cup. It is the highest honor in this sport to represent your country, and it means so much to me that I was selected. Not only was I representing my country, but I was representing Georgia, Baylor School, Moultrie, and St. Simons. Another cool aspect is you are playing for your teammates. I haven’t had the chance to do that since my time here at Georgia, and I missed it. I love that part of team golf: you are playing for someone other than yourself.

Experience of being the ESPN GameDay Guest-picker

Not pumped going 5-5 but happy I got Kentucky over Florida correct. As a Georgia fan, I never feel right picking Florida to win. Awesome experience hanging out with all the GameDay guys. I watch that show every Saturday when I’m not on the golf course.

Why is St. Simons special to you?

I have been down here ever since I graduated from Georgia, and this community is second to none. All the people down here put their arms around and take care of the golfers who live down here and our families. It is an awesome lifestyle down here; between going to the beach, playing on these amazing courses, and everything in between, it really is such a great little town. Hopefully, I’ll be here forever.

What non-golfer would you like to play 18 holes with?

I would have to go with someone funny. Golf is such a serious game for me most of the time, so a person who could keep me laughing throughout all 18 would be so fun for me. Playing with another athlete, not even a golfer would still have that competitive factor on the course. To keep it light on the course, you could pick any comedian, and I think that is who I would enjoy to play 18 with.

Who is the coolest golfer you have been paired with?

I think I get along with everyone on the Tour, but I really enjoy playing with the guys who will elevate your game. I love to pick the brains of the older guys on Tour, so anytime I’m playing with Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Davis Love, or any guys like that, I am constantly trying to learn stuff from them and hear lessons from them on how to approach the game.

Favorite Georgia football game

There are so many good ones. Sony running it in at the Rose Bowl stands out to me as the greatest college football game I know I have ever witnessed, but also one of the greatest college games ever played. When I was here, the blackout game against Auburn was electric. Sanford Stadium was louder than I have ever heard it, and when Knowshon [Moreno] was dancing on the sidelines, the stadium was shaking, and the Georgia people were just having the best time beating Auburn.

Predictions for the 2021 football season

Our defense is playing out of their minds, and our offense seems to get better every single week. I think we are getting guys healthy, and our best football is still ahead of us.





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