Each morning begins the same way for University of Texas Golf Club superintendent Tyler Andersen. Like most men with his job, he’s a creature of habit.
After drinking his morning coffee, he arrives to work no later than 5:30 a.m. and immediately runs down a litany of tasks. He checks his weekly report for how the course will be managed, then meets with his three head assistants before walking the course grounds.
During his routine, Andersen takes one moment for himself — a quick pit stop between holes five and six where the burnt orange sun rises over the canyons in the Texas Hill Country. Moments like these, Andersen says, remind him why he chose this profession.
“It’s one of those hidden gems of a moment that you found out being on a golf course that seems to strike you each day,” Andersen said. “Watching the sun come out over (hole) five and over the canyon is a special moment each morning.”
Andersen’s dream started when he was a boy. His father, a superintendent himself, would take him on golf cart rides during the day and show him the detail and work required of his job.
Instead of griping with his dad over the exhaustive labor and the blistering heat, something else happened to Andersen — he fell in love with it.
“I had spent my summers working on the golf course, and it was really the only thing that felt right to me,” Andersen said. “It’s in my blood, and it’s the only thing I really ever wanted to do.”
He decided to attend the University of Florida, where he majored in agronomy with a specialization in turf grass management. Following his junior year, he landed an internship at the prestigious Atlanta Athletic Club, led by legendary superintendent Ken Mangum.
In Atlanta, Andersen learned from Mangum that he not only had a passion for the job but also what it takes to be a great superintendent.
“(My biggest takeaway) was probably how (Mangum) treated people because this job is so much more than growing grass,” Andersen said. “Watching him and the way he managed people was one of the greatest lessons, not only in this business but also in life.”
Over two years ago, opportunity came knocking when UT Golf Club reached out to Andersen, who was happy to be able to come back to his home state.
“Originally being from Texas, the job really appealed to me and my wife,” Andersen said. “It was a fantastic opportunity to come to a club with an amazing reputation, immaculate facilities and to be able to show off your abilities you know you can do.”
Andersen’s hiring has paid off for the club. Since his arrival, the course has hosted NCAA regionals, multiple amateur events and even opened ‘The Spieth Lower 40,’ a par-3 course that Texas-ex and PGA Tour pro Jordan Spieth helped design.
Tim Foster, a member and active player at UT Golf Club, has experienced Andersen’s impact, noting that the golf course has played at its finest condition since Andersen’s arrival.
“He has the whole membership behind him 100 percent,” Foster said. “This golf course is one of the finest in Central Texas, if not all of Texas, now that he’s been out here.”
Though Andersen’s time in Austin is still in its early stages, the native Texan is proud to be fulfilling a lifelong dream in his home state. And while much has been accomplished, Andersen knows the best is yet to come.
“It just felt right, and I’m glad it’s worked out both ways,” Andersen said. “The future is bright.”