DeJonge focused on his future

Published 1:53 pm Thursday, May 29, 2014

Brandywine’s Alec DeJonge sees s trip to the state finals in his future. (Leader photo/File)

Brandywine’s Alec DeJonge sees s trip to the state finals in his future. (Leader photo/File)

It’s not uncommon for a golfer to visualize a golf shot, a hole, or even an entire round.

But Brandywine’s Alec DeJonge has an even greater visualization when it comes to his golf game.

You see, DeJonge has his sights set on a Division 1 golf scholarship.

The Brandywine star first started playing golf at age five and played in his first competitive tournament at age eight.

That same year he started taking golf lessons for the first time, and at age nine, shot even par in winning a tournament at Blackthorn golf course in South Bend while playing against 10 and 11 year old kids.

Now 16 and a junior, DeJonge is the top player on a Brandywine squad that shared the Lakeland Conference championship with Bridgman.

He led the conference in stroke average, winning medalist four times in seven matches and had the conference low round of 37.

But all of these accolades still aren’t enough. He wants more.

Not only is he shooting for a college scholarship, he is hoping to qualify for the MHSAA state golf tournament.

“Last year Alec missed state by one stroke and I really want him to get over that hump and make it to state this year,” Brandywine coach Josh Dickeson said. “He’s one of the best high school players I’ve seen and he’s our leader.”

DeJonge talks openly about being so close to making the state tournament as a sophomore. After all it was his miscue that cost him the opportunity, and a miscue that only he knew about.

“I hit my second shot into the sand and when I got to the sand I noticed that it wasn’t my ball, so I went back and found my ball and called a two-stroke penalty on myself,” DeJonge said.

Had he finished the hole out he would have been a state qualifier, but he would have known inside that he didn’t earn that accolade.

While he is the top player in the conference, it doesn’t come without hard work. DeJonge takes lessons currently at Warren Golf Course at Notre Dame with golf pro John Foster.

During the school year he hits approximately 1,500 to 2,000 golf balls a week, and during the summer that number increases to about 4,000 balls a week. Sometimes his parents even need to ask him to put his clubs down and call a friend so he can do something besides golf.

DeJonge has a 4.0 GPA and is the top student in his class. He is currently looking at Purdue, Wright State, Notre Dame, Valparaiso and Grand Valley State where he wants to study mechanical engineering so he can someday make and design golf clubs.

DeJonge and the rest of the Bobcat teammates began state competition at the Division 3 District Tournament at Hampshire Country Club last Thursday.

Brandywine did not advance as a team, but DeJonge and teammate Chance Smith both moved on to Friday’s regional at The Medalist in Olivet.