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Swinging for the ‘Hill’s’

Posted on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 10:41 am

Elsberry’s own making a name in the Jr PGA

Elsberry's Gavin Hill at a recent Jr. PGA event. Photo provided by Tyger Hill Photography

Elsberry’s Gavin Hill at a recent Jr. PGA event.
Photo provided by Tyger Hill Photography

It’s been an eventful summer for the young Gavin Hill, who made his presence known during the 2013 Elsberry R-II golf season. Hill finished his freshman school year by shooting a 99 in Sectionals.

Since then, Hill has seemed to really take on a new concentration as he joined the Jr PGA earlier this season. In fact, it may be safe to say this young man just may go all the way in 2014.

“It’s been a learning experience,” say’s Hill. “I get to play so much and that’s what I need, practice.”

On June 17, Hill played the PGA Gateway Junior Tour 18 Hole Tournament at the Missouri Bluffs Golf Club in St. Charles. Due to extreme weather patterns the game was cut short. But not before he shot an 82 on 18 holes. However, the game was only scored on nine holes for those who were unable to finish. Hill tied for seventh place in the Boys 14-15 age division with a 41 on nine holes.

“My swing has changed so much,” said Hill. “Seeing these guys in the Jr. PGA, they just have this swing that’s real smooth and that’s what I’ve been doing instead of trying to swing as hard as I can.”

Hill would see the course the very next morning in the Callaway Jr World Qualifier at Innsbrook Golf Club in Innsbrook, which was also part of the PGA Gateway Section Junior Tour. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t see the day before’s success as he finished 39 out 49 by shooting a 92 on 18 holes in the Boy’s m15-17 age division.

After a two-day break, Hill would regain some momentum after playing at the Landing at Spirit Golf Club, which was part of the Jr Gateway PGA Section on June 20 in Chesterfield. With a total of 20 competing players, Hill tied for second place with a 77. Hill played in the Boy’s 14-15 age division playing all 18 holes from the yellow tees.

On June 24, Hill played at The Quarry at Crystal Springs in Maryland Heights where again he took second place out of 31 players with a 74. Again Hill played in the Boy’s 14-15 age Division playing 18 holes from the yellow tees.

“I had the lead until the very last score card was turned in and the kid shot a 72,” said Hill. “At this point I just want to continue improving on everything. I need to work on the green; chipping, putting and improving everything I can.”

Hill said his most memorable moment thus far was taking second place on June 24, finishing just four over par. However, his favorite course was at the Landing. According to him, it was an absolutely beautiful course.

“I’ve improved big time,” said Hill. “Just going up against harder competition is really bringing my game out.”

And it showed. On Friday, June 28 Hill headed out to Eagle Springs Golf Course in St. Louis where he placed first out of 13 players with a score of 79. Not only would this be his first time placing first in a Jr PGA tournament, it would also put him in second place for Player of the Year. All the players shot from the blue tees for this tournament. But the following day would prove to be a lot more physical than the day’s prior. On Saturday, June 29, Hill attended the Gateway Jr PGA College Skills Combine at Old Hickory Golf Club in St. Charles.

“It was here that PGA Professionals and college players went against the Jr golfers; testing our putting, chipping, irons and drives,” explained Hill. “They had us running, doing sit ups, different stretching techniques, they video taped our swing and made us do a long jump. They wanted to see where we stood for attending a D1, D2 or NCAA School.”

According to Hill, they will compare his standings with other players and send him a booklet explaining everything in approximately two-weeks.

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