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Hughes looks to cap golf career with strong state showing
Alex Hughes drives the ball at Chestatee Golf Club earlier this season. He is the low scorer on the team this season. - photo by Rio White

Over the past two years, senior Alex Hughes has helped the Dawson County golf team grow into one of the strongest in its region.

 The team placed third in the AAA Area 3 tournament and are preparing for next week’s State Tournament, where they finished third last season.

Hughes has been a part of a team that has improved both in skill and depth in his two seasons, having began his career with the Tigers playing alongside his brother Alex and Will Howard as the most consistent players.

But this season, fellow seniors Christian Roper and Seth Jackson, as well as regular starters Will McNatt and Jeremy Ray, have all stepped up to help lead the team to success.

For Hughes, the effort and initiative put in by so many players has created a team chemistry that made his season even more memorable. 

“It’s been super fun,” Hughes said. “Last year, we didn’t do many outings outside of golf, but this year I’ve done almost weekly outings with all the guys.”

As Hughes has improved his scores in his senior year, so has the team. He shot a team-best  1-under 71 at this season’s Area Tournament as the team scored a season low of 299. 

He shot six strokes better than his round at last season’s Area Tournament and the team improved by 28 strokes. 

But for all of the highlights of this season, the road to get where Hughes and the team is now has not been linear.

During the course of this season, Hughes fell into a slump just weeks before the Area Tournament and knew he needed to get out of it quickly. By working with his father on the range, he was able to improve rapidly and get back into his usual form.

“My biggest improvement has been my ball-striking,” Hughes said. “I’ve had rounds where I hit 15 out of 18 greens…and its hard to mess up that round [by doing that].”

Another influence on his growth as a golfer has been head coach Will Anglin. Hughes credited his coach’s positivity as helping him individually as well as the team in its journey to the State Tournament.

Even during the challenging parts of the season when Hughes and the team were in a slump, Anglin remained steady at the helm. 

“He’s one of the most positive people I’ve ever met,” Hughes said. “It’s very rare that I’ve seen him negative. Outside of golf, he has helped me a ton with teacher recommendations and he is always quick to answer anything that I ask.”

Heading into the State Tournament, Hughes is looking to continue his low scoring he has had throughout the season. Earlier in the season, his lowest 9-hole score was 35 and 18-hole score was 76.

But at the Area Tournment, Hughes hit his peak form and finished the 18 holes under par. With both him and the team hitting their stride, Hughes will looking to lead the team to another top-3 finish at the State Finals.

Outside of golf, Hughes enjoys playing piano, writing music and learning Korean. He is considering becoming a business owner as a career path.

The DCHS golf team will play at the State Finals on Monday, May 16 and Tuesday, May 17, at Bartram Trail Golf Club in Augusta.