Isaac Adams began playing golf at nine years of age and started competitive play a year later. To say the least, he’s proven to be an overnight success.
The 14-year-old Adams represents East Texas this week in the 94th Annual Texas Junior Amateur to be held at Horseshoe Bay Resort’s Apple Rock Golf Course and Ram Rock Golf Course.
“I used to play a lot of baseball and kind of got burnt out. My dad played golf every now and then, so I decided to pick it up. I fell in love with it and have been playing ever since,” said Adams, who will be a freshman this fall at Longview’s Christian Heritage Classical School.
“The reason I like the game so much is because you can always give yourself a chance to to do better the next time. It can be frustrating sometimes, but it just kinda drives you to do better.”
Adams qualified for the storied Junior Amateur through a series of tournaments and placed high enough to receive an exemption.
“I was very excited when first I found out I had qualified. I’m ready to go down there and represent East Texas well,” Adams said. “I’ve never played this course before, so I’m hoping to get a few holes in and map out the course with some yardages off the tee box.”
The Boys and Girls 14 & Under Divisions will compete on the newly renovated Apple Rock Golf Course Monday and Tuesday.
Designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Sr., Apple Rock is considered one of the most scenic championship golf courses in the Texas Hill Country.
A par-72 layout, Apple Rock reopened last year following renovation and installation of 007 Bentgrass greens, Apple Rock should serve as a worthy challenge to Adams and his competitors in the field.
Adams, who counts Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson as his favorites on the PGA tour, hopes to continue honing his golf skills and eventually earn himself a college scholarship.
“I haven’t got to that point where I’m a hundred percent set on going pro. I’m at a point where I want to work hard, get into college and see where that takes me. That’s the main goal right now,” Adams explained.
Adams is not your typical 14-year-old. He stands 6-3 and is long off the tee. That’s a strength in his game that gives him confidence he’ll compete strong this week.
“My driver is probably the most impressive part of my game, But right now I’ve got my irons dialed in really well. I think my irons right now are what’s helping me. If I can get ‘em close and knock in some putts,” Adams said.
The Texas Junior Amateur annually turns out one of the strongest fields and has produced some great champions. PGA Hall of Famer Ben Crenshaw won the event twice in 1967 and again in 1969. The aforementioned Spieth prevailed in 2007.
Adams’ approach for Monday is one of cautious optimism. He knows the many ebbs and flows golf provides over 18 holes of competition.
“I’m gonna try not to get too worked up. I want to stay focused and compete to the best of my ability. I really just want to enjoy the experience,” Adams said.