ALBANY, GA (WALB) - In January, the Albany State golf program was able to sign five players just in time to form the team for the spring season.
Last week, the team won the SIAC Championship in their first try.
It's one of the better stories in all of college golf, and the school celebrated the team Wednesday with an on-campus celebration. Head coach Gary Hilton says the players have been stopped and congratulated by students all over campus this week, and says Wednesday's honor was nice to see.
"I'm not even sure some people were aware we had a golf program," Hilton laughs. "But we're putting golf on the map, and these guys have set the start to a great program."
The team now faces the challenge of the NCAA South Regional, which Hilton says may be the toughest in all of Division II golf. Regardless, a conference title and NCAA Regional appearance in the team's first season has provided legitimacy to a fledgling program.
"We were selling nothing. We had no history. I had five guys who trusted me," Hilton says, adding recruits are now calling him with interest in the Golden Rams. "It's paying off now. Hopefully, we can take this and keep running with it."
The Golden Rams travel to Muscle Shoals, AL next week for the NCAA South regional. Tournament play begins May 8.