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Gainesville's Ryan Davidson is feeling rejuvenated. Now he's ready to take aim at Hall County golf championships.
Red Elephants senior shot 68 to win Achasta Invitational on March 19 in Dahlonega
Ryan Davidson
Gainesville's Ryan Davidson competes in the Southern Junior Championship on June 16, 2021. Photo courtesy Ryan Davidson

Once every season, Gainesville senior Ryan Davidson gets to enjoy a friendly battle against his own teammates. 

They focus on going head-to-head against one another, Davidson said, but also get a chance to take aim at the rest of the teams in Hall County. 

On Monday, the two-day county championship meet will commence at Chicopee Woods. 

Each day, athletes will play nine holes on the courses in Oakwood. 

And, like always, Gainesville’s boys are the frontrunner. 

Since the tournament began, the Red Elephants boys have 26 county championships, their coach Cameron Millholland said. 

“Hall County is a lot of fun, plus we have more people come out to watch,” said Davidson, who is coming off a round of 4-under par 68 to win the Achasta Invitational on March 19. 

Millholland is more direct in his assessment. 

“The pressure is on our guys at Hall County to win, which I think our guys enjoy,” Millholland said. “Hall County is unique in terms of nothing to gain and everything to lose.”

Red Elephants senior Wiley Hickerson is the defending county champion, after shooting a two-day total of 72 at Royal Lakes. Hickerson shot a blistering final-round 34 to win in 2021 at Royal Lakes. 

In addition, Brigham Ralston, who tied for third overall last season, put up a good showing for the Red Elephants. 

Last season, Gainesville won at Hall County by 13 strokes. 

Gainesville’s roster, in 2022, is strengthened with freshman Henry Kopydlowski, who earned second overall at the Big Red Shootout on March 15 at Chattahoochee.

Davidson is looking to make his mark on the county championships. 

He’s certainly got the talent. 

But this is the event that Davidson hasn’t been able to put it all together. 

In 2021, Davidson also entered Hall County on a high note. 

Last season, he carded a tournament-best 66 to finish first at the Area 2-7A championship.

Since then, Davidson’s playing career has taken many twists and turns. 

Now, he feels physically strong and mentally equipped to go post a low score at the county championship. 

Davidson has a big support system to make sure he’s got every advantage possible. 

He’s excited about training with a new swing coach: Jaren Goode, who works out of the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta. 

“We’ve been working on a lot of technical things with my swing,” Davidson said. 

Davidson also works with a sports psychologist, who has positively influenced the Gainesville golfers mental focus. 

It’s also rekindled his love of golf. 

After a grueling summer and fall playing high-level junior events, Davidson put the clubs down for three months. 

He took a hiatus mainly to give a muscle strain in his lower back, which progressively got worse during the junior circuit, time to recover. 

During the summer of 2021, Davidson got his individual ranking in the Top 30 on the American Junior Golf Association. 

Currently ranked No. 91 by the AJGA, according to its website, Davidson started the 2021 season strong with a second-place finish in the Southern Junior Championship on June 16. 

His final competitive event of the 2021 season was the Rolex Tournament of Championship on Nov. 20, where Davidson earned a tie for 52nd place. 

After that, Davidson took a breather to re-evaluate his priorities and get to feeling better again. 

That break seemed to work. 

Getting back on the course with his Gainesville teammates was exactly what was needed. 

Now, Davidson is aiming for a strong run in 2022. 

It all starts at the Hall County championships. 

“Our team has been working hard and I think we’re going to do well at the county championships,” Davidson said. 


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