It didn’t take Gainesville boys golf coach Bryson Worley long to realize that the twins who transferred in from Riverside Military for their sophomore season were most certainly not identical.
Gainesville graduates Parks and Carson Brown are fraternal twins, who, as teammate and rising senior Pep Brown noted, no longer even look alike.
“Nobody would guess that we were twins; we’re completely different, look nothing alike,” said the Class AAA individual state champ, who is deciding whether to play his college golf at either Georgia Southern, College of Charleston, Darton or Auburn.
“Carson is more into history, I’m more a math guy.”
“We run in different circles,” Carson said.
What they do have in common, as any Red Elephant by now knows, is golf.
Worley said that they both brought something indispensable to the Red Elephants’ state championship season.
“Parks score was important in winning state,” Worley said, “but Carson’s ability to keep that locker room together was also important — people don’t thing team chemistry is important in golf, but it is.”
Both were also named to the Georgia High School Golf Coaches’ Association’s Senior All-Star Team after a year in which both helped lead Gainesville to the Class AAA state championship.
“It means a lot because how hard I worked,” said Carson, who has signed to play at Methodist University in Fayetteville, N.C. “It’s kind of a good way to leave high school golf.”
For Parks and Carson, golf has been their bond — along with a competitive streak born from their father, a member of Wake Forest’s NCAA National Championship team.
The two have played regularly since the age of 5 and competitively since 8. Parks remembers his dad telling his sons to focus on one sport in order to excel.
“He taught us everything we know,” said Parks, who added that he first defeated his dad in a tournament last year at City County.
The three of them still make time to play on the course sometimes, and the twins get together to compete at least once a week.
“It’s fun to go out and play with him,” Carson said. “We’re always giving each other a hard time about it.”
The competitive streak most certainly extends to their matches between each other.
“We’re really competitive with each other,” Parks said. “We like to see each other succeed, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to kick his butt on the course.”
Parks added that their differences extend to the course as well, with Carson excelling at putting and Parks at ball striking.
Moving to Gainesville only furthered the twins’ golf knowledge.
Not that they weren’t good before — Parks was named the Player of the Year at Riverside Military as a freshman — but both credit the move to Gainesville and the Red Elephants golf team with forever changing their trajectories as golfers.
“It’s been an amazing experience, and it’s helped me with my game,” Carson said of the move. “I wouldn’t be the player I am today without it.”
The Gainesville golf team benefited at least as much from the twin’s presence.
“Both of them bring different things, but obviously both have a lot of talent,” Worley said. “They’re very hardworking kids.”
The coach noted Parks’ calm composure on the golf course, which was hardly broken even as he holed out on 18 at the Augusta Country Club to clinch the individual and team state championships with a 68.
“Parks, he does not show a whole lot of emotions,” said Pep Brown, who had won region the week before. “I saw it the first time at state, when basically he won us the championship.”
And Worley noted the way that Carson handled not competing at region or at state with grace.
“Not making region and state as a senior was hard to watch, but he handled it better than you could have ever imagined,” said Worley, who added that Carson won the team’s Tommy Valentine Leadership Award. “I would almost say Carson was our MVP — an almost unanimous pick for best leader on the team.”
Carson said he was proud to see his brother win the tournament that day in Augusta, and Parks couldn’t say enough on how well his brother led the team throughout the successful season.
Now the twins will head off in different directions for the next stage of their lives. Even next week, while Carson plays at the GHSGCA match-play senior All-Star tournament, Parks will be competing as an amateur in the Palmetto Tournament.
And while they might end up looking and playing even less alike than they do now, Worley said both college teams will benefit with the addition of one of the twins.
“I’ve enjoyed having them,” he said. “They’re definitely two different people, but both are fantastic young men.”