Carter Hill has a refreshing and unassuming disposition. He sports a smile stretching from ear to ear.
The 18-year-old Trinity School of Texas graduate, who competes in this weekend’s 110th Texas Amateur at the Dallas Athletic Club, has played golf since the time he learned how to walk.
His father, Ryan, was an all-state standout at Pine Tree in the early 80s and played collegiately at TCU. Older brother Watson was also an accomplished golfer on the links.
“I’ve always enjoyed the game of golf. But only recently have I truly dedicated myself to working on my game,” Hill said.
It’s always been fun and games for Hill. Easy come, easy go.
Only when his decorated high school playing career was drawing to a close this past spring did Hill become somewhat melancholy.
Hill, in a moment of reflection, saw the sport he truly devoted much of his life reaching its conclusion.
The self-proclaimed people pleaser started seeing things in a whole new light. He started playing the game for himself and not so much for the satisfaction of others.
“I began to take things a lot more serious. My game took on a different meaning,” said Hill, who won top medalist for TST in the 2018 TAPPS state tournament.
Hill, who finished second this past spring at state, played a key role in the Titans winning their fourth consecutive TAPPS team title.
Hill’s humble nature belies his tremendous ability to play the game of golf. It’s not that he doesn’t believe he has skill in the sport, he just knows all too well how the game of golf has its way of humbling a person.
“I guess things really hit me at the Twisted 54,” Hill recalled. “I’d never really took golf like it was important to me. When my high school career was over I felt some regret. I wasn’t using my talents and trying. That’s when I decided to try and qualify for the Texas Amatuer.”
Hill’s focus became working on being the best golfer he could be. The course out at Pinecrest became his second home.
“I’d taken golf serious in the past, but I never had the feeling that it was that important to me. Golf is something I took for granted. Now I get up at 6 o’clock in the morning to go to a lesson, If I don’t put the time and effort into getting better then what am I doing?” said Hill, who qualified for the prestigious event by winning a sudden-death playoff hole at Tyler’s Willow Brook Country Club in early April.
Hill will be among the youngest entrants at the Texas Am. Many of his competitors in the field will already have some college experience under their belt. But this doesn’t seem to discourage Hill. In fact he intends to use it to his advantage.
“I’m in dead last is how I’m looking it,” Hills explains. “I’m in a field with a whole bunch of college golfers and other guys that are out of college playing. You look at the leaderboard and everybody’s tied. And I feel like I’m dead last.”
Playing from the bottom looking up, Hill uses that as motivation. His expectation is to make Friday’s cut and be in Dallas to play rounds three and four on the weekend.
“I feel like I’m in the back of the pack, which is a feeling I like. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. My intentions are to be there Saturday playing and competing,” Hill said. “In my mind, I have very high expectations. I know how hard I’ve been practicing. I’m not scared of falling down because I know I’ll get back up.”