Why do you play high school golf? Is it because you are able to be with your friends? Spending time outdoors? Or maybe because you just love competing? There are over 224,000 high school golfers that play across the country. Each year, many have overcome adversity, challenges, and setbacks to perform at the highest level. Let’s take a moment to showcase some of the most inspiring high school golf stories.
Drew Charter High School
Drew Charter Academy, an all-black high school in Georgia achieved history last spring. The team became the first all-black high school golf team to win a state championship in GHSA history. With their state championship win, they represented the state of Georiga at the 2019 NHSGA High School Golf National Invitational at Walt Disney World Resort.
Not too long ago, Drew Charter could not field a full team of players to compete in a match. Many other local schools wouldn’t consider scheduling a match with the team. This season, the team expects more than 35 kids to try out. Coach Joe Weems explained his coaching philosophy. “It’s not just golf, it’s about having someone they can go to throughout the day just in general. I’m real big on culture and climate. The culture is having a winning attitude, but the climate is about family and taking care of one another.”
Max Roberts – from homelessness to a state championship
Max Roberts was a typical high school student from Oklahoma with an exceptional golf game and love for the sport. Before his senior year state championship in the spring of 2019, he experienced a setback that would cause adversity for any high school golfer. Max’s parents underwent a messy divorce that essentially left him and his mom without a home and place to go.
Before the state championship, Max gathered his team to fill them in on what was happening at home in his personal life. His teammates assured Max that they had his back, no matter what. Max opened the state tournament with rounds of 72-70 and had a two-shot lead going into the final round. He fired a 71 for the final round and ended up winning the state tournament by four strokes.
Max finished in a tie for 15th at the 2019 High School Golf National Invitational with rounds of 72-74. His community rallied around his family to raise the funds needed for them to travel to Disney last summer. “A house is just a house,” he says. “Your family, your friends … that is your real home.”
Jordan Spieth inspires Massachusetts high school golfer to a state championship
Austin Vogt, a 2019 high school senior did not make his high school golf team for the past three consecutive years. Discouraged, he just about gave up his hopes of representing his school on the golf team. As fate would have it, Austin had an opportunity to meet with his golfing hero, Jordan Spieth after a PGA Tour event in Boston. Spieth not only encouraged Austin to work at his game, but shared a story in which he faced challenges during his high school career. Vogt was instantly inspired by his encounter with Spieth and vowed to rededicate himself to his game.
During the tryouts his senior year, Vogt finally made the golf team. As team captain, he led his team to a second-place finish in the state tournament and a trip to the NHSGA National Invitational. Vogt’s determination and a little helpful inspiration from one of his golfing heroes propelled him to accomplish one of his goals.
High school golf is so special because you have teammates, coaches, and friends around you at all times. In times of adversity or challenge, golf can help bring out the best in all of us. Have a story that you would like to share with the NHSGA? Please email NHSGA Manager Chris Noble at Chris@highschoolgolf.org