School: Upper Dublin
Golf, Basketball, Baseball
By Mary Jane Souder
Andrew Carber is a winner. Plain and simple
“I have always said, ‘If you could buy stock in kids, you would put as much money on him right now as you could because he’s going to be a winner,” golf coach Dave Koch said.
In truth, the Upper Dublin senior is already a winner.
In the classroom, Carber is a straight A student, and for good measure, he also excels at three sports. He was a standout on a Flying Cardinal baseball team that not only won the SOL American Conference crown last spring but also advanced to the state tournament for the first time in school history.
“That was unbelievable,” Carber said. “I actually started playing with all the seniors on that team when I was in fourth grade. I played on their travel team, and I actually played up a grade.
“I went into the year, ‘Let’s do it big just like we started in fourth and fifth grade.’ We won the championship in that fourth and fifth grade years, and fittingly, we won the championship and went to states for the first time in history. Being part of that with all those guys is something I’ll remember the rest of my life. It was a magical year for us.”
Carber, who measures in at 6-8, also is a key player on Upper Dublin’s basketball team and earned second team all-league honors in both basketball and baseball as a junior.
Carber’s true passion, however, is on the links. He not only loves the sport of golf, he excels. This fall, he finished atop the handicap differential rankings of 188 SOL golfers, and he recently finished tied for third in the prestigious District One Tournament.
“This year is just a dream come true,” Carber said. “It’s everything I’ve worked for. It’s right where I want to be.”
Making Carber’s success on the golf course even more remarkable is that his height is more suited for basketball than golf.
“Golf isn’t really made for 6-8 people,” he said. “They say there are too many areas in the swing that I can mess up. I hear it all the time that I’m too big, my club is too small, but I’ve set out to prove everyone wrong.”
So far, so good for Carber, who got his first taste of golf on the chip and putt course with his father when he was in first grade.
“My dad and I would chip and putt every weekend,” he said. “He would come down to the shore, and we would play Saturday and Sunday at the local chip and putt course. That was our go-to thing.
“I really enjoyed it, and I wanted to get a lot better and be as good as my dad.”
“I fell in love with baseball at a very young age,” he said.
On the mound, Carber boasts a fastball in the mid 80s, and he also excels at the plate.
“A lot of kids have pitching coaches and spend all this money on recruitment trips to showcases,” he said. “I was pretty much self-taught watching the greats on TV.
“I had a really good coach on the fourth and fifth grade team – Adam Kohler – who actually taught me everything I know. He was a minor league pitcher back in the day, so he really developed our team into what we were today and gave us a strong foundation. I really owe all my pitching and baseball successes to him.”
When he was in fifth grade, Carber began playing community basketball for the township. He moved on to play travel and, more recently, competed on the AAU circuit.
“When I entered high school, it was my dream to be a Division One basketball player, and I knew that was a requirement for playing D-1 basketball,” he said of playing on the AAU circuit. “I was pretty big into that, but it was a lot of traveling, a lot of weekends in hotels away from the golf course. It was tough.
“That’s when I realized golf was becoming my passion, and I would rather be on a golf course in the summer than inside a hot gym.”
The dream of playing Division One basketball fell by the wayside.
“I really fell in love with golf, and it became my goal to become a Division I golfer instead,” he said. “The tide has really turned in the past year or so.
“I started practicing a ton of golf. Any time I could – if I couldn’t play on the course, I would just get to the range or putting green.”
Carber also began competing in the Philadelphia Junior Tour events, beginning with local tournaments and moving on to compete in the larger tournaments like the Junior PGA Championship and the Junior Tour Championship.
“That’s where I really started seeing the big competition,” he said. “It was really eye-opening, and it just made me want to get better.”
This past summer Carber finished tied for fifth in the Bayside Golf Club championship and tied for 11th in the prestigious Junior Tour Championship at Saucon Valley. He accomplished this despite breaking his arm and being sidelined for the month of July.
This fall, he was the captain of a Flying Cardinal squad that captured a share of the American Conference crown.
“He works harder than anybody on the team,” Koch said. “He plays just about every day, he putts every day.
“When kids are practicing, he’ll practice a half hour longer. He just puts everything into it. He’s not a rah rah guy. He goes out and leads by example. We have him hit first since he was the most consistent, and he would set the tone for the rest of the team. As Andrew goes, so goes the team.”
On the first day of the District One Tournament, Carber nailed a hole in one on the ninth hole at Turtle Creek. He shot a one-over par 73 for the day and followed that with a 72 for a two-day total of 145.
Carber’s low round this season came against Upper Merion at Gulph Mills Country Club when he shot a four-under par 31, an Upper Dublin school record. In that match, he had five consecutive birdies.
“The best part of his personality is he’s very humble,” Koch said. “If you compliment him, he says, ‘Thank you.’ He’s not impressed with himself.”
Underscoring Carber’s consistency is the fact that he shot even par or better in 15 out of 16 regular season matches, and according to his coach, the Upper Dublin senior’s game doesn’t have any holes.
“He has a great game,” Koch said. “His biggest advantage is his length is tremendous, and he hits the ball a ton. He has shortened the course so much, and he has very soft hands, so he can chip and putt.
“His putting is probably equally as good as his length. He hits the ball so far he doesn’t use a driver. He uses a three wood. He’ll hit it too far if he hits a driver. At 6-8, you should see his swing – he creates a beautiful arc. He’s got the package.”
Off the course, Carber is involved in student government and is a member of the Spanish Club. He also is a member of the National Honor Society.
“Fortunately, I was able to keep a high GPA in the classroom and also do well on my SATs, and that’s been my priority over sports,” he said. “It’s been long nights, and there are times when I just wanted to pass out on the couch and not do my homework or study for a test, but those late nights have really paid dividends in the end.”
Carber’s top schools include Clemson, Wake Forest, South Carolina and Pitt.
“They’re all great schools, and it would be cool to go to a big Division One school and play golf for them,” he said. “We’ll see where it takes me.”
Carber’s ideal scenario would be to walk on as a member of the golf team at one of the southern schools, and he has received the assurance that if he lives up to his potential he could make the team with the possibility of a scholarship down the line.
He is debating between a pre-med or business major but is leaning toward pre-med. Carber came by his love of the medical field honestly – his father, Robert Carber, is a dentist, and he has played a significant role in his son’s life.
“My dad went to Princeton for basketball,” he said. “In golf, I tried to model my swing after his since day one. He taught me the basics of everything and gave me a strong foundation.”
Carber has used that foundation to elevate himself to lofty heights. A winner, no matter how you look at it.