In seventh grade, Jeremiah Gardenhire chose to try a new sport, and he says it changed his world.
“Everyone knows that golf is a called ‘A Gentleman’s Sport,’ and it has definitely helped me to mature a lot,” Gardenhire said. “I look at things differently now. Even though it is just a sport, golf has taught me to look at everything with a new light. The sportsmanship and respect that is shown between players transcends the golf course. Golf is an individual sport, and it has taught me to respect everybody’s different qualities – on and off the course. I look at everyone as a different person.”
And “everyone” for Gardenhire is a lot of people. The self-proclaimed “people person” is a favorite among students and faculty at White County High School where he is a graduating senior.
“I know about everybody in this school. I am friends with everyone in Sparta,” he said, then talked about how, while those friendships will last, everything is about to change for him when he heads to Tennessee State University to continue his golf career in a few short months. “I’m going to miss the connections that I have here. It will definitely be different.”
Gardenhire is already embracing the change as he said he is looking forward to meeting new people that will come from around the country to join him as they create one team at TSU.
“I love meeting new people and learning what makes them different. I love getting to really know them,” he said. “I hope that as a team we can be strong and unified.”
For those who are just thinking about starting to play golf, Gardenhire’s advice is to go for it.
“It’s a lot different sport than anything else you will ever play. It is built for everybody,” he explained. “If you aren’t good at it yet, you can practice and get good at it. It’s a mental state more than a physical. Anyone can do it. I say give it a shot – you will be glad you did.”
As for himself, he says he will just keep doing what he has been doing for the past seven years – staying focused. Throughout his college career, he plans to use the same advice he would give new golfers.
“Keep yourself grounded on each shot. The last shot does not matter. Just move on to the next one. One bad shot isn’t going to hurt your game,” he tells himself. “In my opinion golf is the greatest game ever invented.”
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