Anders Albertson knows just what it feels like.
The former Etowah golfer, now a sophomore at Georgia Tech, was the latest Yellow Jacket to have his portrait added to the wall of All-Americans inside the Dellinger Golf Center, the program’s clubhouse facility beneath the stands of Bobby Dodd Stadium.
“There’s a prestigious list of All-Americans, so, any time you are associated with those guys and the success that they have had, it’s really nice to be a part of that,” said Albertson, who was named an honorable mention All-American by the Golf Coaches Association of America and Golfweek.
“It’s awesome to keep that tradition going here at Georgia Tech. Obviously, those guys have been pretty inspirational. If you play well here at Georgia Tech and work with coach (Bruce) Heppler, he obviously knows what he is doing with those guys going on to have careers on the PGA Tour. It’s great to be a part of that tradition and, hopefully, follow along in their careers.”
Albertson, in fact, is the second former Etowah golfer to earn All-American honors at Georgia Tech. Kris Mikkelsen did it twice, in 2001 and ’02.
Albertson said it is a bit intimidating seeing his portrait on the wall every day, but he uses it as inspiration.
“It’s kind of weird seeing it in the office every day, but it’s kind of cool at the same time,” he said. “It was a goal of mind to be an All-American, and I was able to do that in my first year. I just hope I can continue to do that for the rest of my career.”
Albertson was one of the most decorated golfers at Etowah and now has his sights set on being one of the top golfers from Georgia Tech.
He is off to a solid start. Albertson became the sixth Yellow Jacket golfer to make the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team as a freshman and solidified his spot as the team’s No. 2 golfer.
He finished the recent fall season ranked No. 105 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, earning two top-20 finishes. He tied for 12th at the Western Refining College All-America Classic.
Albertson said he continues to grow as a golfer. He is stronger and can drive the ball further than he could in high school.
“Physically, I have gotten stronger, so I can hit it further,” Albertson said. “That is always a nice luxury to have. My mechanics have gotten better working with my swing coach, Jeff Batton.”
However, the biggest change has been mental.
“It’s my maturity level,” he said. “I’ve grown up a lot and have more of a level head on my shoulders. That’s kind of been the one thing that has propelled me.”
Albertson is looking forward to the spring season. Georgia Tech will be traveling to tournaments is Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Las Vegas.
The ultimate goal will be reaching the NCAA championships, which Albertson and the Yellow Jackets wouldn’t have to travel as far as some of the other locales they’re heading to this season. It’s being held at Capital City Club Crabapple, a course along the Fulton-Cherokee county line near Woodstock.
“It’s going to be pretty fun,” said Albertson, who added it can be hard to stay focused on class work. “Missing class is the hardest part. You have to stay in touch with your teachers. Sometimes, you have to sacrifice time when you (travel) and stay in the hotel or do some work on the airplane, but it’s all worth it.”