Todd White has won a USGA championship and been a member of a victorious USA Walker Cup Team. But the man who teaches history at Spartanburg (S.C.) High School wants junior golfers to know it’s not about just what you do on the course.
“You are not measured by your golf score,” said White, 47, who won the inaugural U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship in May with partner Nathan Smith. “Your golf score is merely how you played that day.”
White will be an active supporter when the 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur Championship is conducted in his home state at Colleton River Plantation Club’s Pete Dye Course from July 20-25. He will be a featured speaker at the Players’ Dinner during championship week, and the players, all between the ages of 13 to 17, would do well to absorb his message.
”The honesty, the discipline and the integrity that is involved with the game is the biggest message I try to instill,” said White, who played in the 1995 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills and has competed in five U.S. Amateurs.
“How someone conducts themselves on the golf course, not only when things are going well but when they are facing adversity, says a lot about them as a person.”
The four-time South Carolina Golf Association Player of the Year is providing assistance in other ways as the 156-player field arrives in the Lowcountry. In fact, Andy Zhang, a Junior Amateur quarterfinalist in 2014 and a U.S. Open competitor in 2012 at the age of 14, the youngest to ever compete in the championship, reached out more than two months before the championship.
“He asked me questions about the course, preparation, places to eat and places to stay,” White said. “It was nice to be able to help out in that way.”
White said that being paired with junior golfers in amateur events is simply an extension of his daily work with his students. He understands their interests and there is a comfort level.
“The game has evolved in a good way,” said White, a quarterfinalist at the 2014 U.S. Mid-Amateur quarterfinals and match-play qualifier in last year’s U.S. Amateur. “They are becoming more and more mature as players although they are kids.”
Good enough that Jordan Spieth can call himself a Masters winner and slip on a green jacket just four years after being crowned U.S. Junior Amateur champion for a second time.
Junior Amateur Notes: The U.S. Junior Amateur is the first USGA championship for Colleton River Plantation Club … It will be the third U.S. Junior Amateur to be held in South Carolina. Florence Country Club hosted in 1963 and Moss Creek Golf Club, in Hilton Head Island, was the host site in 1979 … Fox Sports 1 will air the semifinal round of match play (July 24) and the championship match (July 25), from 2-4 p.m. EDT … TigerWoods (1991, 1992, 1993) and Spieth (2009, 2011) are the lone players to win the U.S. Junior Amateur multiple times. There will not be any U.S. Junior Amateur champions in the 2015 field.
Brian DePasquale is a manager of championships communications for the USGA. Email him at email@example.com.