Humans of Country Day: Swinging into Success
Griffin Steutel to Oglethorpe University
February 5, 2020
From the youngest kid on the team in 7th grade to captain his senior year, Griffin Steutel is now signed to play golf at Oglethorpe University.
“I have been playing golf since I was three. I began playing after my dad first took me out to the course. I grabbed a club and started swinging and he said that I was pretty good. I started taking lessons and from there I developed a talent and love for the game. I started playing competitive golf when I was eight and that changed my whole perspective of the game because it was a lot tougher. I realized that golf was more than a hobby when I was five years old because that’s when I could see myself being a pro golfer. I also tried playing all the other sports like basketball and baseball, but golf was different for me. I came to Country Day in 7th grade. Coach Parizo came up to me in the range and gave me a little pitch about Country Day and the golf team and ever since then it has been a great experience. My favorite memory of playing with my teammates has to be my first day of practice in seventh grade. I was the youngest kid there and I was wearing a lot of bright colors. I remember a bunch of seniors were looking at me like, ‘Who are you?’ Over the years I’ve become a leader, so it has been interesting to adapt to that as well. I began to help Jaden, TJ, and Sam with their swing and their mental game. This has built into a great relationship, which is mostly about having fun and forgetting all of the competitive stuff. Some of my proudest moments in my golf career were making my first hole in one, having 5 eagles, and winning two tournaments. I have improved my performance over the years by practicing, having a good attitude, and when times were tough, remembering to pick up my head and keep going. To stay motivated I watch a lot of golf, all the time, and I just like learning new things about the sport.
I got recruited to play golf at Oglethorpe University. The first time that Coach Owen, the coach at Oglethorpe, emailed me was at the start of my junior year, and he said that my resume kind of jumped at them. That gave me a lot of hope that I was going to play golf in college. The process is long, hard, and it can be very stressful. I would email coaches and sometimes they would never email me back. These coaches are looking for some consistency and I didn’t have a lot of it. I could shoot in the 60s and high 70s, and it was just a matter of being more consistent, so I was able to show that to a lot of coaches. Coach Owen began to email me and text me almost every day, so that led my decision to Oglethorpe. I finally visited and I had a great tour. Out of all of the colleges that I visited, Coach Owen was the only person who showed me a night tour of the campus, and that really said something to me. To prepare for the upcoming season at Oglethorpe, I have to go to campus in early August because there are ten tournaments in the fall and ten tournaments in the spring. Basically, as soon as I get there I am going to unpack everything, get my gear, and go on my first tournament. In the meantime, I am still training on my own and practicing every day to up my game and to get a fighting spot on the team. In college, I’m most excited for a different atmosphere and a different experience because I have been playing in Miami for all of my life and I want to play somewhere different. For anyone who wants to pursue golf, I would tell them to start young, have a good attitude, and if you’re thinking of quitting you have to overcome that hill and believe that you can do it. When it comes to college, I would tell them to be patient because it can be tough. My golf game has led me to a lot of amazing opportunities. I can see myself playing after college because I have big plans and I want to go pro. I know that it will take a lot of hard work and sacrifices, but I’m ready for it.”
Golf Coach Bryan Parizo lamented that “to say Griffin will be missed is an understatement. He has been an integral part of the golf team since he joined in seventh grade. Oglethorpe will be getting a terrific golfer but more importantly an outstanding person.”