Senior golfer Brian Six may be the #1 golfer on the UCSB men’s golf team, but his resume does not stop there.
Six, a political science major and history minor who came to UCSB first for academics and second for golf, has lead the Gauchos’ in shooting two years in a row with hard work and a love for the game.
A two-time Academic All-American and All-Big West Second Team member, Six is anything but an average athlete. In order to qualify for Academic All-American, players must have a 3.2 cumulative grade point average, sophomore standing and compete in 50 percent or more of their team’s contests; in golf, they must average under 75 strokes per round – not an easy feat.
“Averaging anything under 75 is good. Brian averaged 73.27 this year, and when you couple that with being a good student, not that many people do it,” UCSB Head Coach Steve Lass said.
When Lass was choosing a captain for the team, Six stood out as a perfect candidate.
“I look first for someone that will always be working hard on their game and who can be a role-model for the team,” Lass said. “Brian is a perfect model. He’s worked hard on his golf game and has reaped the rewards of his hard work.”
Six did not become serious about golf until his teen years, and in this day and age, such a late start can put you light years behind the competition.
“I’d play once a week with my dad on Sundays when I was a little kid,” Six said. ” But then I got serious and started practicing every day and was really trying to improve as well as playing catch-up to the other junior golfers. My parents have always been very supportive, especially since it’s such an expensive sport.”
His golf game took another positive turn in the last few years as he started working on the mental aspect of golf. Like many other golfers and athletes, Six turned to a sports psychologist to help his game, and he contributes much of his success to the decision.
“I was getting four or five under par and just tanking it on the last couple of holes pretty consistently, so I worked with him and saw a lot of positive results,” Six said. “It’s kind of like the new thing in golf.”
Spending time with the psychologist is just part of his game plan; he and the other members of the Gaucho squad divide their time according to what they each need.
“The most I can spend with them is 20 hours, but a guy like Brian probably spends 30 hours per week on his golf game – going to the gym, practicing little things, playing golf,” Lass said.
Unlike most college golfers, Six does not see the PGA Tour in his future. Instead, he’s looking to go to law school after graduating in June.
“I’m waiting to see where I get in. Hopefully University of San Francisco, but I’m just keeping my fingers crossed. I got interested through political science classes and also interning at the district attorney’s office,” Six said.
Although many college golfers use a dream of the PGA Tour to work hard, Six understood the reality while continuing to put forth the effort in his game.
“He came up to me at the start of the season and said that he wasn’t planning to be a pro golfer but going to law school instead. But he still worked hard all year,” Lass said. “He’s been the guy that we counted on day in and day out in tournament play.”
Like many players, Six wishes he could have played a little better, but overall enjoyed his time at UCSB as part of the golf team.
“It’s been awesome; I’ve had a lot of fun,” Six said. “We saw a lot of improvement this year, and hopefully I’ll be able to follow the team in the future.”