Photo by Barry Burleson
Drew Wilson competes in a recent tournament.
Drew Wilson was swinging the golf clubs at an early age.
A love for golf
Drew Wilson’s grandfather said the 14-year-old will sometimes play golf “from daylight to dark in the summer.”
“If it’s not raining,” Drew said with a slight grin. “And I play in the winter some, too.”
The dedication is definitely paying off for the freshman at Bethlehem Christian School. He will participate in the Drive, Chip and Putt competition for junior golfers at Augusta National Golf Club on Sunday, April 1, 2018, prior to the start of The Masters.
“We are proud of him,” said Sam Wilson, his grandfather who is also an avid golfer. Other golfers in the family include Drew’s father, Jon, and his uncle, Tim.
“It’s a good thing to do as a family,” Sam said. “We all enjoy it – spending time together on the golf course.”
Drew said he’s been playing golf pretty much since he was able to walk.
“I started because of my dad,” he said. “I was playing at Kirkwood I guess when I was 3 years old.”
His grandfather said, “I cut him down an old driver he could use. And I still have his old golf bag; the bottom is about to fall out of it.”
Drew had to qualify for the trip to Augusta through regional competition. He finished third in Jackson, first in New Orleans, La., and first in Houston, Texas.
He was awarded points based on three drives, three chips and three putts.
He had to finish first in Houston to qualify. He was tied with another golfer and then won it on his putt.
Drew has had success in lots of other prestigious tournaments. A few examples follow.
He has competed in the Southeast Junior Golf Tour. A highlight was finishing second in his age group on the PGA course at Jacksonville, Fla.
Drew also played in the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour. As part of that he will compete December 2-3 in Orlando, Fla., at the Tournament of Champions after placing first in an earlier tournament on that tour.
He has participated in the Future Masters at Dothan, Ala., which is set up like The Masters at Augusta. Many college scouts were in attendance, his grandfather said.
And Drew has competed in the Pros of Tomorrow in Tupelo.
“Drew works hard at it,” Sam said. “We don’t push him.”
He also works with Rob Akins, a golf instructor in Collierville, Tenn.
Drew said his ultimate goal is to one day be on the PGA Tour.
“I love it,” he said. “I pretty much play every day in the summer, and then when school starts, sometimes I practice after school and then play on weekends.”
Drew won the club championship at Kirkwood, which he calls his home course. He said Greg and Jennifer Barkley have been good to him.
Drew said he will keep working on his golf game in hopes of getting a college scholarship. But at the same time, it has been stressed to him time and time again, by family members and by scouts, that good grades come first.
“That’s the number one thing right now,” Sam said.