Jeremiah Gardenhire will be following a family tradition when he starts college at Tennessee State University in the fall, but he will be doing it his own way: as a member of the Tigers Golf Team.
“I was beyond excited when the TSU coach called me and offered me a spot on the team,” Gardenhire said before he signed his National Letter of Intent to play at the alma mater of his great-grandfather, grandfather, mother, and sister. “I didn’t know if I would get a response out of the coach, and then one day, out of nowhere, he called. I started freaking out.”
The Warrior golfer said he didn’t pick up the sport until the eighth grade, and, even then, he wasn’t planning on making a career out of the game.
“Some of my buddies played, and I was like, ‘well, I might try it,’” Gardenhire admitted, explaining that he expected to be bored but the found the opposite to be true. “I played it one time ,and I was hooked.”
Warrior Coach Brandon Sims began coaching Gardenhire two years later and said he is one of the hardest working players he has met.
“He’s always worked really hard at his game, and it’s helped him mature as a golfer,” Sims said. “During his time here at White County High School, the team made it to the state tournament once, and this year Jeremiah made it to the regional tournament as an individual golfer.”
Gardenhire said he feels his senior season was the best season he has had.
“I played four really good rounds. Two great rounds under par. I took home a trophy at the Cookeville Invitational,” he said. “I was really excited to see the forward progress I made this year.”
Miranda Danette Gardenhire, Jeremiah’s mother and a TSU graduate, said she and his father are extremely proud of the accomplishments and even more proud of the young man he has grown to become.
“His dad and I are very proud parents. Jeremiah sacrifices a lot. He’s out there on the golf course every day. It worried me because he was out there so much,” she said. “He sacrificed a lot of time to be sure he was out there doing what he needed to do to get here today. He has done a great job learning to manage his time and keep up with his classwork, and everyone who meets him tells us how he is such a fine young man.”
For Jeremiah Gardenhire, the time on the course is just part of the game.
“Every day work. One day you work on your short game. The next day you work on your irons. The next day you work,” he said, explaining his theory on how to get the most out of the game of golf. “Every day you have to work on something, or your game will just go down.”
And he has no intention of slacking on the work. Gardenhire has big goals for the next four seasons that he will be playing as a member of the TSU Lions.
“I would definitely like to be able to go out with the team, because they only take five,” he said about the reasons for continuing to strive for improvement. “There’s probably going to be around 10 players on the team, so my goal is to keep working so I can be in that top five spot.”
Gardenhire said he hopes that his time on the team will help other Warrior golfers to keep their focus and strive to continue to develop a successful program for White County.
“Stick with it. Always practice. Don’t give up, and if you have a bad day, don’t let that one bad day determine the rest of your game – or life,” he said. Take home some trophies!”
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