Georgia Golf’s Chris Haack loves knocking out PGA Tour winners

Haack was talking on the phone from California, where he was with his last group of Bulldogs. Ranked No. 13 this year, they were competing in the Southwestern Invitational at the North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, Calif. They finished fourth.

A Georgia coach since 1996, Haack has been creating an assembly line of professional golfers for over two decades now. “Haack’s Boys” has won 43 titles and $193.2 million on the PGA Tour.

These guys that almost everyone has heard of: Bubba Watson, Kevin Kisner, Harris English, Chris Kirk, Russell Henley, etc. But a younger group of Haack proteges are beginning to gain a foothold. Among them, Keith Mitchell, who has already won once, Sepp Straka, Joey Garber and Greyson Sigg, who has just won his PGA Tour card for the 2022 season.

It’s hard to gauge exactly how this ranks against other schools. Tiger Woods, for example, is a Stanford alum and has himself earned over $120 million on the PGA Tour. Same with Arizona State’s Phil Mickelson, who won over $93 million.

But no other school has as many former pro tournament participants as the Bulldogs. And it’s certainly in a feather in Haack’s camp.

It follows that Georgia golf has had some success on its own. Haack is one of four coaches to have won multiple NCAA championships. He has won two (1999, 2005) and finished second or third four other times since then.

But it is at the level of the SEC that Haack’s success is most demonstrated. His teams have won eight SEC championships (Georgia won the league’s best with 29 overall). For some perspective, there are eight current SEC programs that have earned less than Haack alone.

It’s worth noting here that Haack’s contract as Georgia’s golf coach is about to expire. It expires at the end of this academic year.

It is assumed that the powers that be at UGA will deal with Haack in due course. He currently earns $220,000 a year. It’s not immediately clear where this ranks among college golf coaches. Suffice it to say, it’s below most of the best.

According to a 2018 USA Today survey, at least 12 male golf coaches have earned more than $300,000 in annual compensation. This list includes Stanford’s Conrad Ray, Alabama’s Jay Seawell and LSU’s Chuck Winstead.

Even Oklahoma’s Ryan Hybl, who played for Haack in Georgia and served as his assistant coach for a time, earns more than Haack. Hybl’s Sooners won the 2017 National Championship.

Maybe all those PGA Dawgs can talk to UGA Athletic Director Josh Brooks and offer Haack that 1% after all.

UGA PGA TOUR WINNERS

  1. Bubba Watson, 14 titles, $47.4 million
  2. Kevin Kisner, 4, 25.7
  3. Harris English, 7, 22.2 million
  4. Brian Harman, 3, 20.9
  5. Chris Kirk, 4, 19.8
  6. Russell Henley, 3, 19.1
  7. BrendonTodd, 3, 11.7
  8. Hudson Swafford, 3, 9.5
  9. Ryuji Imada, 1, 9.2
  10. Keith Mitchell, 1, 7.7

Dawg Tags: The AJC presents a daily look at the one thing you need to know about athletics in Georgia today.

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