AU Golf Prepares to Hit the Green for Their 2023 Season


Rebecca Briones, Staff Writer

The sun has started shining again and the Averett University men’s and women’s golf teams are ready to swing back into action. The teams have begun preparations for their new season with Ben Potter, the director of Averett golf, at the helm of their ship. Potter has been coaching the men’s team for four years and this will be his second year coaching the women’s team. The players and Potter himself are all buzzing with excitement.

“I am really excited about this season,” Potter said. “We have a lot of potential on both teams coming into the Spring, and I am excited to see how we perform.”

Lilli Caroline Tamburstuen is a sophomore majoring in business marketing. Tamburstuen is the captain of the women’s golf team, and she is using the new season as a chance to reflect on the previous season and to improve.

“I would say I’m feeling pretty good about the upcoming season. I’m really excited to play golf in general and to play tournaments again,” Tamburstuen said. “I have been putting in the work through break and I think that’s helped me a lot to prepare for this season. I didn’t play as well as I wanted to last semester so I’m trying to turn that around this semester.”

Excitement isn’t the only emotion running through the players. Caleb Kimbrough is a senior majoring in criminal justice and psychology. He is also the captain of the men’s team.

“With this being my last season at Averett it’s sort of bittersweet. I’ve enjoyed my time here, and I don’t want to leave, but everything comes to an end,” Kimbrough said. “Yes, there is more that I could have accomplished, but I’m not leaving Averett feeling as if I haven’t accomplished anything. It’s been a good ride with the cougars.”

As the teams focus on getting ready for the new season, they have gone to many lengths to prepare as a team and on their own.

“This spring we are just focusing on getting better every day. We have some different focus points depending on the player, but overall, we are really focusing on limiting our mistakes and not letting them compound,” Potter said. “We have been going through a good pre-tournament practice plan focusing a lot on our scoring clubs. We have been hitting the gym really hard to make sure we are able to stay healthy throughout the entire Spring.”

“To help myself prepare for the season I have been looking at where I didn’t do as good in tournaments last semester and focus on practicing those things more now,” Tamburstuen said.

The teams also have goals for themselves. Coach Potter has his own goals for his players and the players themselves have personal goals that they wish to accomplish.

“Men’s goal is to make the National Championship this Spring. We still have quite a few spots to jump in the rankings, but I believe we are on the right track,” Potter said. “Women’s goal is to get inside the top 100 in Golfstat. I think we have a really good chance to do that. We need to build off what we worked on in the Fall and continue to improve.”

“My two main goals for this season is to overall play better than last semester and to just improve my game in general. However, my most important goal for the season is to play a good tournament and win it,” Tamburstuen said.

“To be completely honest, I don’t have any personal goals for this last semester. It would be really cool to win another golf tournament individually, but I am focused on the team this semester. I would love to get to nationals as a team, which is something we have not yet accomplished in my four years at Averett.”  Kimbrough said.

As with most student athletes, the biggest challenge is remembering that being a student always comes before being an athlete. Not only that, but you have to watch out for injuries as well.

“We have to make sure we are staying on top of all our class work with the amount we will be on the road. We have a really good schedule this spring, but that means we have to stay on top of our time management throughout the season,” Potter said. “So far, we are off to a good start, but we just have to stay the course.”

“I’m trying to not think of any challenges I might meet in the upcoming season. However, I think injuries and not being able to hit on class all winter might hinder me a little bit,” Tamburstuen said. “However, I’m going to the course and making sure I try and get as much practice in as possible before the first tournament, and I’m going to keep working hard all through the season.”

As the new season starts and a senior prepares to close an important chapter of his college career, Kimbrough wants to leave behind some advice for his remaining AU family.

“To my remaining teammates, don’t put too much pressure on yourselves to perform. I have found that to perform well you have to trust your preparation and know that you have done the work and you are good enough to perform at the top level,” Kimbrough said. “Trust your preparation and just go out to the course and play. The scores you are looking for will come.”

The women’s golf team will have their first tournament February 27th and 28th at the Pfeiffer University Spring Invitational in Ocean Isle Beach, NC. The men’s golf team will have their first tournament March 6th and 7th at the Savannah Invitational in Savannah, GA. The teams’ schedules and rosters can be found on