Dawson Garrett isn’t looking to slow down any time soon.
The soon-to-be eighth- grade golfer at Fort Payne High School narrowly missed advancing to the Class 6A State Golf Tournament as a seventh grader last year. He missed the cut by one stroke that came down to the last hole of the day at the sub-state tournament.
Since then he’s almost lived on the golf course. He plays in the morning, practices in the afternoon and has played in plenty tournaments along the way.
During June he finished 15th out of 120 golfers from around the World at the Future Masters Tournament in Dothan and then most recently placed first in his age division at the Drive, Chip and Putt tournament at Hampton Cove. He will advance to the regionals in Loudon Tennessee later this month.
Garrett said playing in the Future Masters was something that will be a great benefit for him moving forward. Especially with the level of talent that was there.
“It was a great experience,” Garrett said. “It was definitely a big confidence booster for me. I had played in a few tournaments before this one so I felt good going into it.”
Garrett is the grandson of Fort Payne golf coach Larry Hancock. Hancock said Fort Payne golfers haven’t been strangers to the Future Masters tournament, and playing in the tournament is a great benefit.
“Most all of the good golfers that have come through Fort Payne have played in the Future Masters at some point,” Hancock said. “It’s a great tournament and it’ll be a big confidence boost for him as he moves forward.”
The Future Masters tournament dates back to 1950, and 43 golfers from the tournament went on to win The Masters in Augusta, Georgia including two-time Masters Champion Bubba Watson.
Several Fort Payne golfers have participated in the tournament over the years, including Zac McCurdy and Cole Skaggs, who currently play for Jacksonville State University.
This year wasn’t the first time Garrett participated. He also went last summer but didn’t make the top-30 cutoff. This year he was able to bounce back and make the top-15. A big accomplishment —but he thinks he left some opportunities out on the course.
“I think I could play a lot better,” Garrett said. “My focus was really good but my ball striking wasn’t that great. I just hit the fairways, made my putts and everything worked out. All the putts I made really helped.”
He also isn’t the only member of the family to be having success this summer. His eight-year-old sister Cooper Garrett placed second in her age division and will also advance to the regionals.
She’s been learning to play golf this summer and has been playing with Dawson to try and pick up some pointers.
“She decided she thought it would be fun to start playing this summer,” said Keri Garrett, Dawson and Cooper’s mother. “He’s been taking her out with him on the course and helping her out. Her goal is to play in her first tournament this year.”
Both Cooper and Dawson will participate in the Chip, Drive and Putt sub-regionals in July.