For many of us a golf trip down south during winter results in pictures, lost golf balls and a decent sunburn.
For Ponoka’s Jared Nicolls, his latest trip to Arizona wound up with the Junior Boys championship at the Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour event.
“Day one I just played super steady, it wasn’t anything special I just kind of got my way around the golf course,” said the 18-year-old.
He fired rounds of 71/70 at the Legacy Course in Phoenix to win his division but he says the first round could have been lower as he was driving the ball very well.
Round two was more of the same with the driver but he says he hit his irons poorly but was sharp with the putter.
His final stretch of four holes were just what the doctor ordered as he made a 30 ft. putt to save par on #15, chipped in for birdie on #16 then sunk a 45 ft. putt to birdie #17.
He wrapped up the day with a solid up and down on #18 for yet another birdie on a course he felt was not as tough as others viewed it.
“I didn’t see where you could get into a lot of trouble and none of the other guys really felt that,” he said. “When you play out of the Wolf Creek Golf Resort a lot of the courses kind of seem easy now.”
Nicolls closed out the season winning five of his last seven events and now is looking forward to the next step in his career which will start with school in Palm Springs at College of the Desert.
“My buddy is actually on the team there so I know the team, I know the coaches, I know the practice facilities and everything.”
He is planning on taking a business program down there with an eye on transferring to Stetson University, a smaller Division I NCAA school in Daytona Beach, Florida.
“I actually met up with the coach at a camp in Florida and he came and watched me play and I’ve just been chatting with him a little bit since then.”
In between now and then Nicolls has some more golf ahead of him as a member of Team Alberta.
“I’m really excited about that. We have eight pretty solid guys there and a great coach (Randy Robb).”
He plans on playing golf in Alberta next year until school starts and as a member of the team he’s exempt into events like the Alberta Open and the Alberta Amateur Championships.
But for now, he’ll wait out winter like the rest of us.