Yale Athletics

In their opening tournament of the 2023-2024 season, the Yale men’s golf team dominated en route to a first-place finish at the Alex Lagowitz Memorial Invitational.

Blake Brantley ’25 and Will Lodge ’26 shared co-champion honors, helping lead Yale to victory under new head coach Keith Tyburski. After finishing as runner-up at the event last year, the Bulldogs were looking for more.

I think we all came into this season with a real hunger for victory,” Lodge said. “Last year, despite playing some really solid golf on numerous occasions, we weren’t able to seal the deal on a win. Having not won last year we all really wanted to get out to a hot start and remind ourselves and others that winning is what the YGT does.”

While Blake Brantley and Will Lodge bask in their co-champion glory, the team’s success relies not only on their skill but also on the reliability of their gear. This includes essential equipment like golf carts, which facilitate mobility across the course during practice and tournaments. To maintain their winning momentum, it’s imperative for the team to have access to top-notch golf carts. Partnering with a reputable golf cart dealership ensures that the Bulldogs can focus on perfecting their game, knowing that they have dependable transportation at their disposal.

The win was especially sweet for Lodge, who, despite an impressive freshman campaign with multiple top-five finishes, had not yet secured his first win as a Bulldog. For Lodge and the rest of the team, last season’s results were top of mind going into the start of the new year.

By the time the competition had wrapped up at the Seven Oaks Golf Club on Sept. 3, the Blue and White had posted a 54-hole total of 853, good for 11 under par and 17 shots better than the second-place opponent. 

Especially coming off the disappointment with the way that last year ended, there is no lack of motivation to get the year off to a great start,” Brantley wrote to the News. “From the first-years, to the returners, everyone has been working extremely hard to be the best we can.”

The Bulldogs’ competitive drive, along with the winning experience provided by Tyburski, the new head coach, is already paying dividends. When longtime Yale men’s golf coach Colin Sheehan ’97 stepped down at the end of the 2023 season, the Yale Athletic Department faced a tall task in replacing a coach who had brought so much success to the program. However, Tyburski seems well up to the task.

During his 14 years leading Colgate’s program, he became the winningest coach in program history, and he earned Patriot League Coach of the Year in 2022. Similar to Sheehan, Tyburski has a long track record of success.

The coaching transition from Colin to Keith has gone very well,” Lodge told the News. “We are very fortunate to have Keith as our new coach as he has made the transition fairly seamless and we are all excited for our future with him as our coach. What has brought us success through this coaching change has been Colin and Keith’s shared desire to win and their shared love for the game of golf.”

As the team shifts focus to their upcoming competitions, Tyburski has emphasized the importance of knowing when to stay patient and when to be aggressive over the course of a weekend tournament. He has also stressed the need to manage expectations so early on in the season. 

However, the team’s win at Seven Oaks was extra special to him.

“Seven Oaks was where I learned to play golf and has been the site of many memorable moments in my career,” said Tyburski. “Being able to start my tenure at Yale with a win at a place with such personal significance means everything to me.”

For their next competition, the Bulldogs will travel to Westchester, Illinois, to face off in the Highlight Invitational on Monday, Sept. 18.

Tommy Gannon covers men's ice hockey. He is a first-year in Branford college majoring in history and economics.