A 202-yard hole-in-one at age 12. Back-to-back conference MVP. Back-to-back trips to state. Summer Hawkins is without a doubt a golf celebrity at Oswego High School. But where did it all begin?
Hawkins’s love for golf goes back to her childhood, where her dad put her in golf camps and local tournaments. In these tournaments, Hawkins would be the only girl in her division, making her the winner by default.
“I basically got a trophy for showing up, which was fun at a young age,” Hawkins said.
After playing volleyball and basketball since fifth grade, the decision to make a return to golf was unexpected.
“I joined the girls team just to try it out since they needed more girls,” Hawkins said.
Looking back now, Hawkins feels a close bond with the girls golf team for OHS, giving an individual sport a team aspect.
“I’d describe as family,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins is a natural leader, and her hard work is reflected within the team.
“She’s actually been called the team mom this past season by all our sophomore players. She helps them out with golf stuff as well as just some of the typical high school issues,” Head Girls Golf Coach Brian Chandler said.
Hawkins has accepted her role as a team leader with ease, and has changed the overall dynamic of the group.
“How hard she works and how focused she stays is something any golfer who plays with her or practices with her also ends up doing,” Chandler said. “Despite all her success, she never let it get to her head, and never held herself as someone too good for the team or other teammates.”
Hawkins has undoubtedly left a lasting impact on the girls golf program, being the only athlete in program history to go to state twice and win Southwest Prairie Conference MVP back to back years.
“After my success freshman year, I really started working on my swing and never stopped for the next three years, which lead me to the success I’ve earned today,” Hawkins said.
Her coaches have taken notice of the development of her skills over the course of her career, and applaud her ability to adapt to whatever challenges are thrown her way.
“She knows how to focus and has the internal drive to be successful with any goal she sets for herself,” Chandler said. “She just matured so much and with that maturity, her mental part of the game really became a strong point for her.”
In terms of more than simply golf, Hawkins’s bright personality stands out to anyone around her.
“She is easygoing and very friendly, anyone can have a conversation with her,” senior Amanda Darling said.
Hawkins’s caring personality is clear, described in a memorable moment shared by a close friend.
“Last year, when we were watching a movie, and she starts bawling her eyes out because she thought it was so sad, but we all thought it was so funny. I thought it was hilarious,” Darling said.
Hawkins is a board member of STEM club, as well as a member of BIONIC, mathletes, and Scholastic Bowl; she definitely has a lot on her plate. To other busy students, Hawkins suggests making a daily schedule or to-do list.
“Sounds simple, but it really helped me stay organized and stay on top of everything,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins recommends golf to any girl searching for a new sport to play in high school.
“There’s no conditioning, reasonable practice times, and you get to stay tan until October so win-win,” Hawkins said.
As Hawkins narrows down her college search, Penn State, CU Boulder, and Alabama are all possibilities. She looks ahead to her college career, but will remember her humble beginnings as part of the Oswego Co-op girls golf team.
My name is Jamani Reed (JUH-MON-EE, not JU-MON-GEE), and this is my third year on the 42Fifty staff. At school, I'm involved in BIONIC, WE Club, OATS, and Scholastic Bowl. Outside of school, I work at Culver's and Chick-Fil-A, and play piano. I enjoy reading, hanging out with friends, and watching/playing sports.