From tee to green, Jett Becker knows his way around a golf course.
The Aberdeen Christian senior has literally grown up with the sport and is now preparing for his fifth and final state tourament.
“It is strange,” Becker said of getting ready for his final high school event. “It’s kind of a little piece of you that’s taken away. I definitely want to end on a good note.”
Becker grew up on the course, riding in the back of a cart when his father would golf nearly every day. He played in his first state tournament as a seventh grader and has been at every state tourney since, with the exception of last year when COVID canceled it.
“He brings a lot of experience as he has been on some really good teams that finished well,” said Christian golf coach David Rohrbach. “He has had a really good season individually as well, placing top 10 in every meet, including several top five finishes.”
The Knights were unable to qualify as a a team this spring which leads to a bit of a different feeling for Becker heading to state this time around.
“I remember my first couple of years at state. I was just a little seventh and eight-grader. Going there and trying to play well, it’s tough,” Becker said. “You have so much pressure on you to play good for your team, but now, because our team didn’t make it, I’ve been more focused on myself and not feel pressured. It’s definitely a different feeling.”
Becker hasn’t had an event since the Region 1B meet took place last Monday. However, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had a club in his hands.
“Golf is a really tough sport. You definitely want to be doing it every day, keep a habit of a consistent swing,” he said. “I’ve been playing at least three hours a day for the last two weeks, just trying to keep that swing consistent.”
Becker has not only been playing, he has been playing with former teammates Cramer Johnson and past Class B state champion Judah Aderhold. All three were past members of Aberdeen Christian state championship squads.
“They try to give me tips when I’m hitting my driver bad,” Becker said.
It is that shot off the tee that can often make the difference between a good hole and a bad hole for Becker.
“I hit my drives pretty far, so keeping them straight is pretty hard for me. If you hit the ball on the fairway, then you’re set,” Becker said. “If you’re hitting in the trees, then you’re going to have to punch out. It’s pretty tough when your ball is not on the fairway, so keeping the ball on the fairway off the tee box is probably the toughest part. If I hit it left or right, it’s gone.”
Golf is a sport that is difficult to master. Becker said that even professionals struggle from time to time.
“I’m always just trying to get better at it,” he said. “Even the pros don’t hit their shots perfect every time. It’s a really tough sport.”
Becker will be the first to admit that he hasn’t played his best round yet this spring. He is hoping that changes next week.
“I definitely haven’t played my best golf all season long,” Becker said. “I’m hoping I can put some of my best rounds together at state and play well for my last tournament.”
Becker has heard that the state tournament course in Brookings in a challenge, but he feels prepared heading into the tourney.
“I play at Moccasin Creek and Moccasin Creek is a really tough course. I believe it’s the toughest course I’ve played in high school so far,” Becker said. “I don’t know about Brookings, but I always play on a super tough course. I heard Brookings is tough, though.”
Becker is one of several Lake Region Conference golfers who have had solid seasons, including the likes of Luke Peterson of Ipswich and Bennett Cassens of Faulkton.
“You see them almost every meet. You get to know them,” Becker said. “You want to play your best to beat them. It’s definitely some fun competition.”
It’s already been a memorable senior season for Becker, who was a starter on the Aberdeen Christian basketball team that finished runner-up in this year’s Class B State Touranament.
“That was an experience of a lifetime. That was amazing,” Becker said. “It was so fun to have the opportunity to play at state my senior year, especially with the COVID stuff going on. It was such a blessing.”
Now, Becker’s focus is on playing his best golf and making the most of his final oppportunity as a prep athlete.
“I’m hoping for top 10. I’ve never reached that top 10 before,” Becker said. “Get two days in a row, play my best golf and get somewhere up there.”
Rohrbach believes that Becker has the game to do that and is hoping that his senior leader can go out with a bang.
“He is one of the better golfers in the state and if he plays well, has a chance to make some noise at this year’s meet,” Rohrbach said. “It would be nice to see him go out on a strong note his senior year.”
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