By Tony McMully, USGTF Professional
Lucas Leamer is a golf success story. And his story continues to be written. Lucas, a senior this year, attends Cincinnati Hills Christian High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has been an accomplished member of the swim team there since he was a freshman. He has been a district qualifier every year and is a leader on his team. He loves swimming competitively, but came to golf after an injury in the summer before his junior year made him begin to question whether swimming was the right sport for him. Enter the golf success story.
Lucas came to me in August of 2019, looking to learn how to play golf in hopes of maybe making his team as a junior the next year. I have to admit that, once he told me he had never actually played golf, I was skeptical of how this would turn out. Turns out, I had no idea who I was about to teach!
The first thing I did was to inform Lucas that this would take work – a lot of work! He responded with almost no emotion, the way he still does when I ask him to do something, “Okay, Coach,” and we went to work. Long story made short, he came inevery week, prepared for his lesson, homework from the week before completed, and ready to work. It didn’t take very long for me to see that this kid had talent, a ridiculously good work ethic, and a drive to succeed! He started to play in summer tournaments, but had little success, if any, at first. I explained to him that golf is a difficult sport to play well in under pressure at first. He simply nodded yes that he understood, and then worked harder at the fundamentals of ball striking, short game, and putting. Then came tryouts for his high school golf team. I got a text after the third day of tryouts and to my surprise, it simply said, “Made the team. Thanks Coach!” When I saw him for his lesson later that week, he said, “I made the team. Now I want to work harder than everyone else to be the number one golfer on my team.” He has become the hardest working and most focused junior golfer that I’ve ever taught in 20+ years as a professional instructor.
Lucas has climbed the ladder to the position he chased so hard. He is the number one varsity golfer at Cincinnati Hills Christian. His highlights include shooting a 35 (-1) in a nine-hole match and shooting a personal best 75 at the Hadley Invitational for a 9th-place finish. And he continues to write history for a kid who got out of the pool to play golf!