Often described as the patriarch of the Phi Alpha Cup, Team 97 Captain Andy Sands has helped make the Phi Alpha Cup what it is today. Credited along with Team 98 Captain David Johnson and former PAC player John Stubbs with organizing the inaugural Phi Alpha Cup in 2005, Sands has been the driving force behind the tournament’s growing popularity through his aggressive public relations efforts and ability to put together outside partnerships and celebrity appearances benefiting the annual event.
Sands was a late-comer to golf, devoting much of his time growing up in North Carolina to becoming a nationally-ranked tennis player as well as successful stints playing basketball and baseball. It wasn’t until his senior year in high school when he tried out and made the golf team, and his rapid success in the sport, that Sands decided to focus on golf full time.
Sands’ success in golf is even more improbable given his insistence on residing in New York City, where he has lived since 1999. Even though all four opposing members on Team 98 have moved south in order to train year-round, Sands has adopted a counterintuitive training approach that prevents him from practicing during the lead up to the PAC’s early May date. Instead, Sands uses Manhattan’s long, cold winters to work on advanced stretching techniques and mental visualization. To date, it is a regimen that has worked.
In 2013, Sands engaged in a much publicized Twitter exchange with Golf Channel personality Jason Sobel in which Sands called Sobel out for comments Sobel made on “Morning Drive” in reference to Hank Haney’s book on Tiger Woods, The Big Miss. Sands took issue with the fact that Sobel went on a prolonged rant bashing Haney while admitting he had not actually read the book. Sands later confirmed that Sobel had e-mailed him privately and the two were able to work out their differences.
Driver: Titleist 915 D2 (10.5)
3 wood: Callaway XR (15)
Hybrid: Callaway X2 Pro (20)
Irons: Callaway Apex Pro (4-P)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM6 (52, 56, 60)
Putter: Ping Anser 2