ATHENS -- Fantasy worlds filled with medieval knights, elves, superheroes and zombie apocalypses.

All this goes on inside the head of Georgia women’s golfer Savannah De Bock.

Not only while she daydreams in class, or while she’s lying in bed before she falls asleep, but also while she plays.

It is obviously working for the Belgian native, the only freshman in the Bulldogs’ lineup for the NCAA regionals this week in Auburn. The same lineup advanced to the semifinals of match play at the Southeastern Conference championships.

Prior to coming to Georgia, De Bock ranked as high as No. 35 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, making her one of the world’s best junior women’s golfers. She competed in seven events in the spring semester, finishing as high as fifth.

“I see her becoming a pro, as long as she wants to be a pro,” teammate LoraLie Cowart said. “In terms of college, I see her being an All-American and possibly winning a college tournament while she’s here.”

De Bock’s love of fantasy stems from her love of books. Her competitive spirit might have led to her love of books.

“I was in first grade – there were books specifically for first grade – and after reading three of them I was like, ‘No, give me the real books,’” De Bock said. “And [the teacher] was like, ‘You’re not able to read this,’ I was like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna show you I can,’ and I started reading fantasy a lot.”

Most people would think that a future golfer would spend recess outside running around, but not De Bock. She spent recess in the library.

De Bock hopes to become an author one day. She enjoys writing fantasy and science fiction. She uses her golf game to develop the characters in her stories, predicting how they would react to certain situations on the course.

“I think I’ve got like 17 or 18 stories that I’m working on at the same time because I cannot focus on a single one,” De Bock said.

De Bock’s teammates enjoy her creativity and imagination.

“That’s different than anyone we have on the team, so it’s kind of nice to add that diversity to the team,” Cowart said. “It’s good to see her excited about some things outside of golf, because I feel like every person needs to know that golf isn’t the only thing that they can do.”

One of her stories is a zombie apocalypse horror story based in Athens.

“I need to work on it,” De Bock said. “I thought that Athens would be a good place to build a story on, but I need to learn the campus by heart first.”

De Bock arrived at the beginning of the spring semester, and head coach Josh Brewer has seen nothing but good golf and growth out of the 18-year-old.

“I think it took her probably about a month to figure out like, ‘Hey, I gotta get things done on my own,’” Brewer said. “She knows how to get to the course and make things easy for herself, and it’s fun watching her grow.”

Fifth-year senior Caterina Don, a native of Italy, has taken De Bock under her wing.

“I just tried to make myself available because when I got here, I didn’t have a car, and I know it can be hard,” Don said. “So I make myself available if she needs to go anywhere. I try to help her out with things that I struggled with.”

De Bock is not just known for her fantasy stories. Her coaches and teammates have learned she always has a positive attitude.

In the quarterfinals of match play at the SEC championships, De Bock did not play, as Brewer said he wanted to give her a rest.

“There’s people that might be not happy about it, they might walk around with a sad face, but she was out there, she was cheering loud,” Don said. “The girl I was playing against called her a weapon for our team.”

De Bock also made her presence known when she got back into the lineup at SECs.

“My match was very, very good. For that match, that’s the only day my putting was great. I was holing every single putt,” De Bock said.

De Bock competed at high levels in Europe, winning the 2022 European Ladies’ Amateur championship, and notching back-to-back top-five finishes at the World Junior Girls Golf Championship. So she was ready for the pressure of her first SEC championships.

“The moment wasn’t too big for her,” Brewer said. “She’s just comfortable being in that situation, and she did a wonderful job of really carrying us the first few days to get us in position to make match (play).”

With her characters and stories in her mind, and her clubs in her hands, not much can stop Savannah De Bock.

Andrew Fleming is a student in the Sports Media Certificate program at the University of Georgia’s Carmical Sports Media Institute.