LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s golf team has set its schedule for the 2023-24 season, first-year head coach Gator Todd announced Wednesday. The Wildcats will compete in four fall events and five spring events before postseason play.
“Our schedule will give our student-athletes the opportunity to play against the best competition on some of the best courses in the country,” Todd said. “We’ve added a few new tournaments to our schedule and there are some regulars that we hope will always be there. We are thankful to have these opportunities for our guys. We are excited about the upcoming season and look forward to seeing what type of team we can become.”
The Wildcats welcome back nine players from the 2022-23 season, including five top-10 finishes and 11 top-20 standings. Three of Kentucky’s five starters from their Southeastern Conference Championship lineup will return to Lexington.
Alex Goff, who currently holds the best career scoring average of any Wildcat dating back to the 1993-94 season at 71.72, will be back for a graduate season after earning 2023 All-SEC Second Team and PING All-Southeast Region honors. In addition to Goff, senior Campbell Kremer returns after sitting third for the Wildcats with a 73.67 scoring average in 10 tournaments in 2022-23 while sophomore Kevin Watts is back after making six starts and competing in 10 tournaments with a 74.13 scoring average in his opening season.
The Cats also will welcome highly-regarded newcomers Wesley Beard, Michael Hake and Vanderbilt transfer Jansen Preston to the 2023-24 roster.
Details on the full Wildcat schedule for 2023-24 are below:
Folds of Honor Collegiate | American Dunes Golf Club | Sept. 4-6 | Golf Channel
The Folds of Honor Collegiate, now in its second year, showcases and supports the Folds of Honor Foundation and highlights Folds of Honor scholarship recipients from several of the country’s top golf programs. Opened in 2021, the Jack Nicklaus design, which previously was home to Grand Haven Golf Club, has been cleared of many of its trees to showcase many of the rises and falls of the natural dunes on the property.
The Cats will be participating in the three-day, 54-hole event for the first time.
SEC Match Play Championship | The Country Club of Birmingham | Sept. 25-27
All 14 SEC teams will travel to Mountain Brook, Alabama, to partake in a three-day tournament combining stroke play and match play.
Originally designed by Donald Ross and redesigned by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., and then Pete Dye, the par-71, 7,226-yard West Course has hosted the 2013 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship and the 2022 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship.
When the event was held at Old Overton Club in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, a year ago, Kremer led the Cats with a 3-under-par stroke-play total of 207 to tie for 23rd as UK did not advance to match play.
Blessings Collegiate Invitational | The Blessings Golf Club | Oct. 2-4 | Golf Channel
The fourth-annual Blessings Collegiate Invitational takes place on the 7,925-yard layout at The Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville. The course, which plays throughout the Clear Creek floodplain and a plateau bisected by a series of ravines, features a series of elevation changes throughout the rural, wooded property.
Kentucky participated in the event once before in 2020-21, tallying an eighth-place team finish. Goff, who was a sophomore at the time, earned the individual title with a 6-under-par 210.
Steelwood Collegiate Invitational | Steelwood Country Club | Oct. 28-29
A 54-hole tournament hosted by the University of South Alabama, the Steelwood Collegiate Invitational is played on the 7,032-yard, par-72 layout which opened in 1997 and underwent a full renovation in 2022.
The Cats have played in the event four previous times, earning a second-place finish in 2016 and 2021. In the event in 2021, Goff tied for eighth at 4-under while Kremer tied for 16th at 3-under.
Battle at Briar’s Creek | Briar’s Creek Golf Club | Feb. 5-6
An integral part of the Briar’s Creek experience is the way golf and the natural environment complement each other. There is no shortage of water, marshes, wetlands and wildlife, along with the occasional bunker, rough, and gently rolling, but quick putting surface. Precisely designed and skillfully maintained, the Rees Jones masterpiece embraces the rich, low country landscape and vegetation of Johns Island and the Kiawah River. Multiple tee boxes offer dramatic shots around, across and along unspoiled marsh and riverside vistas, creating a spirited, scenic challenge for golfers of every level.
Kentucky finished fourth in its first appearance at the event a year ago. Goff carded three rounds under par on his way to a second-place finish at 5-under while Kremer tied for 29th and Andrew Clark tied for 36th.
Gators Invitational | Mark Bostic Golf Course | Feb. 17-18
Mark Bostic Golf Course at the University of Florida sits on 110 acres of heavily tree-lined, softly-rolling terrain. The par-70, 6,701-yard course was originally designed by Donald Ross in the 1920s and has hosted the 54-hole tournament since 1978.
Kentucky has participated in the event six times over the years, last teeing it up in 2007. The Wildcats posted a third-place finish in the 2004 event.
Schenkel Invitational | Forest Heights Country Club | March 15-17
Forest Heights is recognized as one of the finest in the Southeast. The course measures out to 7,123 yards as a par-72. Although the tee shots are relatively forgiving, the players face their biggest challenges when they reach the undulating greens. The greens feature subtle breaks that make it difficult to read and making scoring low a tough task.
The Cats will be participating in the event, which was first played in 1971, for the 18th time. UK finished fifth a season ago as Goff tied for third and Watts tied for 30th.
The Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate | Bulls Bay Golf Club | March 24-26
This 7,220-yard course, just minutes from Charleston, is stimulating and offers two par fives that are more than 600 yards long. This tournament annually features some of the best collegiate programs in the nation. It lies along the tidal salt marshes to the north of Charleston and is known for its bold and somewhat idiosyncratic style. Taking into account the ever-changing coastal wind conditions, fairways are wide and green sites generously proportioned to offer the players a wide variety of approach play.
Kentucky is making its 19th overall appearance in the event in 2024. Goff carded three rounds in the 60s to finish second at 16-under in the 2023, while Kremer tied for 40th and Watts tied for 45th.
Mason Rudolph Invitational | Vanderbilt Legends Club | April 5-7
Founded in 1992 and designed by Bob Cupp and Tom Kite, the South course at Vanderbilt Legends Club is a par-71 and plays 7,100 yards. The layout offers a mix of wooded and open spaces, winding through the shadow of historic Roper’s Knob hillside.
Kentucky has played in the event four times, most-recently in 2019, and notched a second-place finish in 2008. The only Wildcat who has participated in the event is Preston, a Vanderbilt transfer, who tied for 60th this past season.
SEC Championship | Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club | April 24-28
NCAA Regional | TBA | May 13-15
NCAA Championship | Omni La Costa Resort & Spa – Champions Course | May 24-29