Avery Struck will be calling Texas home come this September.
The 17 year old from Halfmoon Bay recently signed a full golf scholarship in the athletic training program at West Texas A&M University, a NCAA Division 2 school, located in Canyon, Texas, just south of Amarillo.
It’s a huge step for Avery, who has spent the last two years honing her skills with many hours of practice at the Sechelt Golf and Country Club and Sunshine Coast Golf and Country Club in Roberts Creek.
She has travelled the Lower Mainland extensively, competing in dozens of tournaments in order to get as much competitive experience as possible. All that hard work paid off in early spring when offers from both Canadian and U.S. schools started coming in.
“I sent my resume to 40 or 50 schools and I received responses from about 30,” she said. “It was a long process. All of the programs were great, but when I visited the campus at West Texas, met some of the other players and the coach, that sealed it for me.
“Coach [Meredith Jameson] is just not another coach, she is like a mother — a mentor. I wanted to go somewhere where I felt like I was at home. It’s going to be a hard adjustment feeling like I’m halfway around the world, so it was a real feeling of family and togetherness with Meredith and the other girls on the team that made my choice.”
Until she leaves in August, Avery will continue to train and prepare herself for collegiate golf. Tournament plans include several local ones as well as the B.C. Women’s Amateur in Kamloops this July.
Jameson said Avery is a solid golfer and will play a major role on the team.
“College coaches get scores of resumes emailed to them each week. What really caught my eye in regards to Avery was her swing video,” Jameson said. “She has a very simple swing that generates maximum club head speed, while still being repeatable under pressure. I actually laughed when I saw her trying to tee up a drive on an ice-covered tee box in her video. If she is dedicated enough to shoot a swing video in those conditions, she is dedicated enough to put forth the effort that is required to be successful at the collegiate level.”
Jameson said West Texas A&M has its top three players back and was really needing a fourth and fifth girl to jump right in and establish themselves within the team.
“I feel that Avery, as well as our other freshman, Mattye Mason from San Marcos, Texas, will work hard to fill those roles,” she added.
Avery credits the support of family and friends for getting her to this point.
“I work at the Sechelt Golf Club and I did most of my playing at Sunshine Coast,” Avery said. “Mike Hobson [head pro at Sechelt] and Jim Pringle [head pro at Sunshine Coast] are honestly just like family. They have been there to help me, to mentor me and they both understand the hard work that is needed to achieve something like this. It is so rewarding to share this with them and the whole community. The support has been amazing.”
Avery also spoke highly of fellow Coast golfers Jessie Ostrosky, Bailey Quinn and the late Connor Richey, crediting Connor for getting her into golf.
“All these guys are my friends and we’ve played a lot of rounds together,” Avery said. “When I heard last year that Connor had passed away so suddenly, I was on my way to a tournament. It was so sad. I think it was fate that I signed in Texas. We often talked about if I signed in Texas, I would have been close to where he would have gone to school. Connor is the reason why I play. I owe everything to him.”
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