Colson Brown is thankful he was being nosy in the training room one day.
The walk-on true freshman quarterback at Georgia Tech was receiving treatment one day on his shoulder, and Yellow Jackets’ men’s golf coach Bruce Heppler was also in there talking with trainer Mark Smith. The duo were discussing golf and Brown chimed in.
That conversation led to Brown playing for the Georgia Tech golf team this week, and of all places at Cypress Point in California, No. 2 on Golfweek’s Best 2023 for top Classic Courses in the United States. Brown competed in the Cypress Point Classic, and though he didn’t win a match, he got to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“I can’t really recall when I found out I was playing at Cypress Point,” said Brown, who won a state championship in high school at North Augusta, South Carolina. “I think it sunk in the day before we left where I was going to play.”
Once Brown introduced himself to Heppler and heard of Heppler needing another player for a tournament this week, Brown expressed his interest in playing. Georgia Tech was committed to two tournaments and needed 11 total players while only having 10 available due to one redshirting.
Brown showed the coach videos of his swing and gave him his number. A couple weeks later is when Heppler called, saying he cleared everything with the football coaches for Brown to join the golf team in California earlier this week.
“I started going to practice at their facility on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” Brown said. “I knew my swing was in a good spot, but I just didn’t want to go out there and embarrass myself.”
The Georgia Tech golf team took him in. He practiced with the likes of Christo Lamprecht, No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, and others from the 2023 national runner-up squad. All of this while having football practice and classes.
“The guys took me in and made me feel really comfortable,” Brown said.
A couple days before leaving, Heppler called Brown into his office and provided him with all the gear he would need for the tournament: a golf bag, travel bag, shirts and hats, and even more.
Colson Brown at the 2023 Cypress Point Classic. (Photo: Georgia Tech)
Brown hopped on a plane and traveled to the Monterey Peninsula. The tournament consisted of six players from each team playing match play in three sessions: foursomes, four-ball and singles.
“Tommy and I talked a lot during the day,” Brown said. “Everyone sort of knew the circumstances, and everyone was great to me the whole time.”
The duo was paired again in four-ball but fell 2 and 1 to Auburn. When he finally looked at his phone after the long day, he couldn’t believe the thousands of notifications waiting for him.
“People were so jealous of me and calling me the luckiest man in America,” Brown said. “I guess it still hasn’t set in.”
On Tuesday was singles, where Brown faced Illinois’ Piercen Hunt. He fell 9 and 7, but again, said Hunt was great to play against and provided great commentary through the round.
Brown returned and got back into his routine Wednesday, and his football teammates had nothing but questions for him when he returned.
Brown said he enjoyed getting to see the difference in how the golf team and football team interacted with each other, but he is thrilled with how supportive the golf team was of him stepping in and how accepting the football team was of him being gone.
Now, Brown has one heckuva story to tell for the rest of his life, and he’s got plenty of Georgia Tech golf equipment (that Heppler let him keep) to prove it.
“I really cant say that I was Tiger Woods out there,” Brown said, “but I hit the ball about as well as I could’ve considering the circumstances.”