Two-time NCAA champion and two-time NCAA Coach of the Year Josh Gregory had great success at Augusta State, where he led the Jaguars to back-to-back national titles in 2010 and 2011.
Gregory left Augusta State in the summer of 2011 to return to his own alma mater, SMU, where he remained until resigning in 2014. Over the years as a top college coach, Gregory shepherded a number of current PGA Tour players through their time at school, including Patrick Reed, Bryson DeChambeau. Harry Higgs and Henrik Norlander.
On this week’s episode of Subpar, Gregory revealed to hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz what it was like to coach a young Reed, who transferred to Augusta State from the University of Georgia.
“He was tough,” Gregory began. “I learn way more from my players probably than they learn from me. Your players shape your coaching style. And I was fortunate enough to have some really tough ones.
“But as far as learning from those guys, and learning to be patient, and learning to have to adapt to their style. I’m not a dictator as a coach. There’s a big difference between instruction and coaching, and a lot of what I do is instruction. But most of what I do is coaching. And so, I had to coach Patrick Reed a hell of a lot differently than I had to coach Henrik Norlander, and I had to coach Bryson DeChambeau a heck of a lot differently than I did the other eight or nine guys on the team.
“I knew what I was getting into,” Gregory continued. “I talked to [University of Georgia coach] Chris Haack when he came, and I said, tell me everything. I want to know the truth. And yeah, I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say I wanted to win. I knew the baggage. I knew there were some issues coming in. But, I knew he needed me and I needed him.”
When Patrick Reed started to gain fame and notoriety on the PGA Tour, stories began to emerge about him from his former Georgia teammates, including accusations of cheating and stealing, which Reed denied.
“I knew there would probably be some issues,” Gregory said of Reed joining his team. “But at the same time, I thought I was the type of coach that could handle it. I knew he needed somebody to hold his hand, I needed somebody to be a father figure, a big-brother figure, a little bit of everything. I know he needed a kick in the a– sometimes, but also know he needed a hug sometimes as well. But let’s face it, I wanted to win. If Patrick Reed was shooting 75 every day, I probably wouldn’t take him. I’m not stupid. But I want to win.”
Gregory credits Reed with teaching him how to coach individuals.
“College golf, too many coaches make the mistake of thinking it’s a team sport,” Gregory said. “It has nothing to do with a team environment.”
For more from Gregory, including what Reed has in common with Michael Jordan, and what it was like to recruit Bryson DeChambeau, check out the full interview below.