Welcome to Behind the G! This is a Georgia Way platform that shares student-athlete stories, hobbies, and what is important to them. To the world, student-athletes are viewed by their outcomes in their sports, but they are so much more than that. Our goal is to share with the world in their own words who they are as people, and the numerous ways they represent the G on and off the field.
My name is Davis Thompson, and I am a senior on the men’s golf team. Seeing as I cannot give a tangible gift to the University of Georgia, I decided to write a thank you note to express my gratitude.
Thank you, UGA, for shaping me into the man I am today. Growing up in Auburn, Ala., I was constantly surrounded by orange and blue. This could have easily swayed my fandom for UGA as a child, but my love for the red and black along with my Dad’s loyalty to the University of Georgia did not allow that to happen. Over the years I watched UGA football legends like David Greene, Aaron Murray, AJ Green, Thomas Davis and Todd Gurley put on the red and black so many Saturdays in the fall. Although my sport was not football, I still grew up with the desire and passion to one day wear those same colors.
UGA, you have taught me so many valuable lessons. I had to grow up quickly, as I went from a small private school to one of the largest public universities in the country. Overwhelmed at first, you taught me how to stay patient and figure out things for myself. Thank you for helping me learn how to deal with adversity not only as a golfer, but as a young adult working through many new situations. I dealt with being away from home, traveling on a sports team while managing my schoolwork, and then overcoming the many challenges dealt out by the pandemic. With perseverance and determination, I handled a lot of adversity during my time here, and without the lessons I learned I would not know how to get to the other side of challenges that life presents.
Thank you for teaching me how to work hard in everything that I undertake. No matter what path my life may take, a good work ethic will help me in the future. I was not the most talented recruit in the country, but I worked as hard as any other player to make the most of the opportunity given me. I made good grades in high school, but college courses were much tougher, and I still wanted to do well in my schoolwork. Watching the accomplishments of other UGA students challenged me and gave me the desire to work hard so that I could excel in the classroom and on the golf course, so thank you for those experiences.
Thank you for teaching me how to deal with praise, as well. As an old Proverb says, “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but people are tested by their praise.” I have been fortunate enough to have had some individual and team successes during my time here, but I struggle with how to receive praise from others. UGA gave me many chances to receive praise as well as the value of humility to deal with it from the outside.
I also want to thank the University for four years of memories. From not-so-great memories such as my first 6 a.m. workout to the best ones of winning tournaments and, of course, the 2019 Notre Dame football game, you have given me great memories throughout my years here. I will never forget one of my first memories as a member of the men’s golf team. I was on the tee box getting ready to hit my very first tee shot in a college tournament as a Georgia Bulldog. I felt immense anxiety and nerves as I set up to hit the shot. With my coaches and a few teammates watching I thought to myself, “How am I going to hit this ball?” A voice inside of me gave me reassurance that I was supposed to be there in that moment wearing a G on my chest and playing for the Bulldogs. As I took the club back with butterflies still in my stomach, I sent the ball right down the fairway. It was a surreal moment, my first tournament memory and a great way to start my college career.
Finally, thank you for the relationships I have made while here at UGA. I have formed unbreakable bonds with my coaches and teammates and also with other student-athletes. These relationships will last well beyond college, and I know that if I ever need anything, I can call any of the friends I have made, and they will be there for me. I love the friendships I have formed here because we have the Bulldog connection in common. We have a bond that brings us together to support one another because of shared experiences while attending the University of Georgia.
So thank you, UGA, thank you for the late-night tutoring sessions and early-morning workouts. Thank you for the football Saturdays in Sanford Stadium and all the great food I ate in downtown Athens. Thank you for the time with my teammates and all the opportunities and awards. Thank you for the highs and lows and for making me into who I am today. I will always have a smile on my face when I come back and visit this great place. I will always bleed red and black, and the University of Georgia will always have a special place in my heart.
Davis Thompson – UGA Golf