Ian is a senior at Licking High School and has committed to playing golf at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg. He says “ my grandpa is my part time swing coach and Rick Grayson is my ‘official’ swing coach.” (Grayson is a leading teacher in the Springfield area and is particularly involved in junior golf and in teaching juniors.) Ian had a terrific season in 2014 and is the MGA’s Junior Player of the Year. Learn more about his season at www.mogolf.org
When did you start playing the game?
I first got introduced to golf by my grandfather and my dad when I was about five or six. I really didn’t take it too seriously until I was around 10, though. Since then, I’ve spent a lot of time working at golf and trying to improve my game.
What’s your favorite memory on the golf course?
I’d have to say it’s the final round at the 2013 Missouri Junior Amateur. I birdied four of the first six holes and made a six-footer for birdie on 18 that gave me my first ever sub-70 round in a tournament. That round allowed me to finish third in the 16-18 division in the Junior Am.
Do you have a favorite golf course? How about one you haven’t played that you dream of playing some day?
I think my favorite course is probably Buffalo Ridge, Springs (formerly Branson Creek). I have a hard time ‘ranking’ favorite courses because I’ve played a lot of good ones and they all are different enough that it’s hard to rank them.
There are a lot of courses I’d love to play, but Augusta National is the top one on my list. Of course, getting to play there is a kind of a rare thing…My dad was a gallery guard volunteer there for 13 years and has been able to play Augusta. The volunteers get the opportunity to go back there in the summer and play the course. So, my dad surely has got me in terms of ‘best course played!’
Is there one thing you’d like to change about golf and the golf experience?
Yes, I’d like to see the Rules of Golf condensed because I think the game is made too complicated for some people by all of the rules. I’m also not a huge supporter of the new adjustable clubs. I’ll use them to keep up with my competition, but I’ve hardly touched their original settings.
Do you have a ‘go to’ shot when under pressure and you need a good shot?
I’ve just started working on controlling different shots. For now my go to is just my normal shot—a tight, high draw. Off the tee it’s usually with a driver because I’ve had issues with my three-wood for a while. I’m working on turning this around, though, because I’d eventually like to have the three-wood as my ‘go to’ club.