EATON — Makenna Jones aims to become a great female golf player, and so far, she is well on her way.
Jones, a 14-year-old student who will attend National Trail as a freshman this upcoming school year, is the daughter of Brian and Missy Jones, and sister to older brother Bryton.
“My dad and brother got me into golf when I was very little,” said Makenna. “I will be starting my high school career this year and have been an amateur for years. I played on the SOPGA Junior tour (Southern Ohio PGA) and travel for that and the Golf Week Tour during the summers. It’s for kids 14-18 years old. Both are different tours. I also take part in the Eastern Indiana PGA.
“I like to play for fun, but it’s pretty competitive. You have to fight for your spot for two days, and some of the girls are really good out there.”
“She just played in the tour championship at the Scarlet and Gray tournament at Ohio State,” her father, Brian, explained. “The top 20 girls in the state participated there. I think at least seven of those girls had already graduated from high school, and will enroll in college this year; Makenna was the youngest in her field. She took second in her age field and 14 overall. She was the only one who had not teed up in high school, so it’s quite an accomplishment for her.”
Makenna reflected on some of the sacrifices she’s made in order to play golf.
“I had to give up softball — just cannot do both at the same time,” she said. “I wanted to commit to it. I have to sacrifice with time for my friends and family in order to get better. But my parents and I are able to balance it out, otherwise it would not be fun anymore.”
“There is no middle school golf program, so her typical routine would be to go to school during the day, come home, then hit the Beechwood Golf Course because it’s pretty close to home and hit lots of balls,” Brian added. “She would practice about three days per week. Everything is a two-day event now, so it’s a grind and they have to walk. The kids are their own caddies so sometimes, they could walk up to nine miles per day carrying their clubs and playing in the heat or the rain. So, there’s more physical activity to golf than what most people think.”
Several colleges have shown interest in having Makenna play for them in the future.
“I would love to go play college and somehow play in the pros,” said Makenna. “If someone offered me to play professional golf now or in the near future, I personally would go for it. But my mother would not be happy with that, she would want me to get my education first.”
Jones will participate in the Quality, Drive, Chip and Put tournament held at the Muirfield Village Country Club in Columbus, on Aug. 13. From there, she will join the National Trail varsity golf team to begin her quest for greater heights in her career.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @osanders_RH