By Joseph Garcia
The Liberty Hill High School golf season is, to use a bad pun, in full swing and a handful of golfers are gearing up for the district tournament to be held in the beginning of April. One of those golfers is sophomore Blake Elliott.
Much like many future great golfers, Elliott began swinging the clubs at a very early age. Now, at the age of 16, he has played the sport for most of his life and practices his craft nearly every day and plays at least a round per week.
“I started playing golf when I was two or three,” said Elliott whose family moved to Liberty Hill when he was in second grade. “My dad would take me to the driving range to hit balls. I was about six or seven when I played my first 18-hole round.”
The sophomore loves to play the game because it is never the same each time he hits the course. He enjoys the fact that it is an outdoor sport and a challenging one at that. Hunting and fishing are among the other outdoor activities that Elliott enjoys.
Putting and hitting better, longer drives have been the end result for Elliott after putting in work nearly every day. In fact, currently the Liberty Hill golfer is vacationing in Murrieta Valley, Calif., for spring break. And yes, he brought his clubs with him.
He played the CrossCreek Golf Club in Temecula Valley as well as Pechanga, also located in the same city.
Elliott’s home course, along with his teammates James Rollins (freshman) and Riley Huggins (junior), is Crystal Falls Golf Course in Leander. That’s where they practice and
it is the site of the golf team’s most recent tournament.
In four tournaments played thus far this season, Elliott shot below a score of 90, making him the only player on the team to do so.
At the Llano Tournament (Feb. 22) at the Llano River Golf Course, he shot an 83 to help lead the Panthers to a sixth-place finish. Next, on Friday, March 1, the team traveled to Killeen to play on the Stonetree Golf Course, where Elliott shot an 84 through 18 holes. The following day, Salado’s Mill Creek Golf Course was the tournament site where the College Station native shot a round of 85.
Most recently on Tuesday, March 5, the Panthers participated in a tournament at their home course at Crystal Falls, where Elliot shot his best score of the season (81). He nearly shot a 73 if it wasn’t for a pesky par-5 18th hole where he used eight shots to finish the round at 81.
It is safe to say that Elliott likes the flowing greens at Crystal Falls. The young man, whose favorite subject in school is English; at the age of 15 on March 29, 2012, poetically and masterfully did something most golfers do not realize in a lifetime: sink a hole-in-one.
His ace came at Crystal Falls’ 160-yard, par-3 15th hole. The moment it happened, he could not believe what just transpired.
“I was thinking I was going to birdie (the hole),” Elliott, who used a 4-iron form the tee said. “(I thought to myself) I can’t believe it went in and that it’s a one-in-a-million chance. I could see it from the tee going in the hole.”
He said that sometimes the pin is in the front, but on that particular day it was located in the back. He was just trying to aim straight and hit a clean drive.
“(I was) just trying to concentrate, not necessarily hit it in the hole,” he said. “I was just trying to get it close.”
Liberty Hill High School and Junior High golf Coach Danny Knowles instructs and leads both schools’ teams. The players enjoy his entertaining, yet instructional antics, according to Elliott.
“He’s funny and a good coach. He likes to say ‘we’re going to DQ after this’,” Elliott joked.
All jokes aside, Elliott is trying to improve his game to the point where he might get some looks from colleges. He is aiming to gain a scholarship and play golf at the collegiate level. Having been born in College Station, if he had his druthers he would be strapping on his golf shoes for the maroon and white of Texas A&M University.
“That would be something really good,” he said. (That) is one of my goals.”