Andrew Bachelder Talks Shotmakers and Warrior Open

Jul 3, 2018

Team Ringers celebrate on Golf Channel's Shotmakers

When Shotmakers premiered on the Golf Channel this spring, 18 players — nine co-ed teams — were vying to win the competition. Two of these competitors happened to be graduates of Golf Academy of America.

Chad Pfeifer and Andrew Bachelder
Chad Pfeifer and Andrew Bachelder

Andrew Bachelder was one of these contestants. A student at Golf Academy of America in Dallas, Bachelder was introduced to the show by Chad Pfeifer, an alumnus of Golf Academy of America in Phoenix. Both were chosen to compete in the precision shotmaking show, which took place at Topgolf Las Vegas.

“It was an honor to be selected and it was an honor to represent the veterans,” says Bachelder, a retired Marine Corps staff sergeant who was injured in a 2009 mid-air helicopter crash in Afghanistan. “So far, my experience has been centered around trying to grow the game within the veteran community. When I take my story and put it on a national level, it reaches more people and shows them that I was able to overcome. I think that’s the best part.”

Bachelder competed on a team with professional golfer Haley Ostrom, and the two meshed well together.

“When we showed up, we didn’t know who we were going to be paired with,” explains Bachelder. “I think where we clicked the best is that we were aggressive.“

The show was filmed for about seven days. Though Bachelder was eventually eliminated, he and Ostrom fought hard to stay in the competition.

“I think after we got into a groove of being able to hit targets, that’s where we started to make some headway into the competition,” he says. “We knew what our strengths were: being resilient and being aggressive. We just put the pedal to the metal and were hoping for the best.”

Andrew Bachelder with Golf Academy of America in Dallas students
Andrew Bachelder with Golf Academy of America in Dallas students and graduates

Bachelder says the experience of being on Shotmakers was nerve-wracking, but amazing.

“I’ve been nervous before, but this was a completely different type of pressure,” he says. “That whole process was probably the most nervous that I’ve ever been in a competition!”

Since the show aired, he’s been recognized three times. He thinks that the format of Shotmakers helped open up new doors for different avenues of golf.

“It targeted a younger market, and I heard stories of people going to Topgolf just to try it,” he says. “If you’re going to grow the game of golf, the place to start is just whacking golf balls around with no pressure.”

Andrew Bachelder at the Warrior Open

Warrior Open Tournament Success

Bachelder isn’t only hitting golf balls for TV — he’s also participating in some real-life competitions.

For years, Bachelder has competed in the Bush Institute Warrior Open, a golf tournament for combat wounded veterans. He won the competition in 2015, and he made it a goal to repeat that impressive feat.

The Warrior Open is a touching experience that Bachelder looks forward to each year, as 26 wounded veterans compete for the prize.

“We’re all dealing with all these visible and invisible wounds of war, but we come together for three days and build a camaraderie and brotherhood on the golf course,” he says.

Bachelder achieved his goal of a repeat win. This year, he again won the Low Gross Cup and the Low Gross Champion’s Cup.

“It feels amazing. I obviously wouldn’t be here without my support group and amazing people who have stuck by my side throughout the last eight years,” he says.

With Shotmakers and the Warrior Open behind him, Bachelder still has more to look forward to. In July, he will head to another competition as he plays in the American Century Championship.

To learn more about Golf Academy of America graduates like Bachelder, like us on Facebook, join the conversation on Twitter, and see what it’s like to be a Golf Academy of America student on Instagram!