Sophomore drives uphill

Lining up the ball, sophomore golfer Franklen Lockhart takes a deep breath before he starts doing what he loves. Lockhart clears his mind of the struggles of a normal teenager and starts to proceed. Getting ready to do a job he’s done hundreds of times, Lockhart putts the golf ball.

“My favorite thing about golf is overcoming the mental and physical challenges that are presented every time I walk up to the ball,” Lockhart said.

Lockhart joined the men’s golf team his freshman year and has impressed head coach Anthony Del Puppo and other veteran teammates ever since. He has played golf for the past three years.

“I expect [Lockhart] to win a lot of matches, continue being a great team guy and get us a lot of points with a big improvement this year,” number one varsity golfer and junior Taylor Mezzatesta said.

Ever since Lockhart decided to take up the sport, it has changed his life dramatically, especially in high school. There is a major time commitment involved since Lockhart plays in school and year round outside of school. “Golf has affected my life greatly because of the hours and hours of practice and dedication that needs to be pursued in order to play and succeed in such high competition,” Lockhart said.

During the summer, Lockhart spent time on the golf course and some time competing, non-JC related, to improve his golfing skills. Starting out at the six spot on the golf team his freshman year, Lockhart now plays as the three or four spot.

“On the course, he is nails. Nothing phases him. Off the course, he is one of the happiest guys,” Del Puppo said.

However, Lockhart does not just compete in the local area. He shares his talents nationwide. “I play in tournaments all over the United States and Canada,” Lockhart said. “It is really cool.”

Golfing skills are not the only thing he brings to the team. “Lockhart is a funny guy and he is always nice, just an overall good teammate to have,” Mezzatesta said.

The sport is not just another way of burning time for Lockhart. It’s a passion. The misconception of the sport being a no-skill-needed sport irks him at times. “Golf is often stereotyped negatively, when, in reality, it is arguably the hardest sport to play competitively at a high level,” Lockhart said.

Aside from golf, Lockhart plays on the men’s volleyball team in the fall for JC. Nonetheless, golf is his main sport. Lockhart is open to the possibility of playing golf in college, or at least to help him get into an institution.

“Golf is extremely important to my life because of the opportunities it could present to me in my college years and beyond,” Lockhart said.
Kishan Patel is a Sports Editor for The Patriot and