Former Central golfer missing home but focused on getting better at Auburn

Dante Green
York Dispatch
Central York's Carson Bacha during the York-Adams League Team Golf Championship at Briarwood East Golf Course in West Manchester Township, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Golf has been a part of the Bacha family for so long that some might call it a tradition. Carson Bacha calls it a profession.

The Central York graduate will never forget his preschool days when his father would take him golfing every day before school at Hawk Lake and then drive with him and his sister to get glazed donuts.

A lot has changed since then. Nowadays, Bacha is more focused on balancing his college classes with his status as a student-athlete at Auburn University.

In the SEC, there are no off days, and he faces the best golfers in college regularly.

Bacha, a finance major, takes online courses and spends most of his time at tournaments or practicing with his coaches.

The adjustment from high school to college has been a tough one, but the York County native still has found success. His team is the 13th-ranked program in golf after being ranked 17th in preseason. Individually, Bacha finished 20th at the NCAA Division I championships   and finished no lower than 23rd in 10 straight tournaments during the season.

He said his season was a result of all the hard work paying off.

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“All the hard work coming together," Bacha said of what led to his success this season. "Trusting the process. Being the hardest worker I can be. Early morning in the facility and the gym. We have a great workout program. Mark Blackburn, PGA tour coach, he’s helped.

"I just keep chipping away. It’s nice to see the success come from that.”

Family passion: Bacha has worked hard at the game for a long time. He grew up in a family where every sibling has at some point played the sport for a team. He loved  watching his older brother play at Central York, an experience that would lead him to play for the same program. 

Central York's Carson Bacha tees off during the YAIAA Golf Team Championship at Briarwood East Golf Club in West Manchester Township, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. Dawn J. Sagert photo

His outstanding play in high school was nothing short of captivating. In his senior year, he had a scoring average of 64.7 and won the York-Adams League title shooting 8 under then a District 3 title shooting 10 under. He also won a PIAA championship and set the state record at 8 under. He won counties three times, districts twice and state once.

'Special moment': He’ll never forget the moment he won states, something he calls his fondest memory.

“State record is my favorite memory from high school. I had dreamed about that," Bacha said. "That was a special moment.”

Choosing Auburn might have been one of his easiest decisions. Bacha knew he wanted to go somewhere south and avoid the cold in the north. After his first visit to Auburn, he called his parents, telling them he thought this was the college for him.

Adjustment: It’s been an adjustment from life in York County to Alabama. The weather is different, especially in the winter, and Bacha is no longer surrounded by the support of friends and family.

Still, it’s his golf game that has changed the most, as he is pitted against the best players in college every tournament. The biggest difference he’s noticed between college and high school is “every player is a good player. The margins that separate you are a lot smaller," he said.

Bacha hasn’t been complacent, despite his past success. The 19-year-old said his game has a lot more focus to it than before.

“You practice, but you don’t know how to practice in high school. Not until you go out there with a purpose do you know what you’re doing,” he said. “Nowadays, I have a set plan on what I’m going to do. When I’m going to the course, I can leave after knowing I got better that day.”

Central York's Carson Bacha hits from the edge of the green during the York-Adams Individual Golf Championships at Briarwood Golf Club Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019. Bill Kalina photo

Working on all aspects: He said his improvement has been in every area of the game.

“All parts of my game have become better. I think my way around courses. Mentally, I’ve improved,” Bacha said.

There have been no easy days and no breaks for the Auburn golfer. He continues to wake up every morning to practice. He is playing in the Western Amateur near Chicago this week. He also plans on playing the U.S. Amateur Championship  later this month.

While Bacha has put in the time and effort there is still no one he gives the credit to more than his father, Kevin, and mother, Kerri. 

Goals: He’ll never forget the days when it was just him and his brothers at a local golf club working on being the best they can be. He hasn’t let go of the past but rather is focused on his goals for the future.

“I’m sticking to the process. My goal and ultimate dream is to play on the PGA Tour,” said Bacha. ”I have three years of eligibility left. I can win in college; I’ve gotten my game to that point. Winning a personal title would be nice also. The team winning a national championship would be even better.”