Augusta's Hayden following golf path
Once that final day of school was complete, Augusta golfer Trey Hayden knew what his summer was going to be about and he couldn't wait.
With his dad being the head professional at Augusta Country Club, Hayden spent countless hours of his summer breaks as a kid pounding balls on the driving range and playing rounds with his buddies.
Those days have shaped who he is as a golfer. Hayden has won or been co-champion in five tournaments this year and will be one of the favorites at Monday's Class 4A regional at Coffeyville Country Club.
"The course was my summer home," Hayden said. "I started junior golf and then my dad started teaching me fundamentals, and then I started playing with some of the older guys and having some fun with them."
Being a member of the Hayden family means that golf is in your blood; Hayden's brother golfed at Augusta and their cousin, Josh Cook, who also played for the Orioles, is a professional at Wichita Country Club.
Striving for perfection and having a tireless work ethic are two Hayden's most important traits and he picked those up from Cook, who is now Hayden's swing coach.
"If there is a little tweak to his game that Trey needs to fix, we let him go see Josh because they work so well together," Augusta coach Keith Conrady said. "Josh was a heck of a player for us and I see the same work ethic in Trey as I saw in Josh."
Hayden has one of those personalities that rarely changes. It doesn't matter if he holed out for eagle or missed a five-footer for par, Hayden keeps the same expression.
In fact, earlier in the year, opposing coaches commented to Conrady that Hayden makes things look so easy with his quiet, calm demeanor.
"He could be struggling through a couple of holes, but then will make things look so smooth," Conrady said. "That maturity is really wonderful."
That maturity and patience could prove to be even more beneficial come state tournament time. The 4A tournament is at Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, which has hosted a U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Women's Open.
"Everything I have done this season was building towards that one day at state," Hayden said. "I feel like there are just a small handful of guys who can win it, especially since it's at Prairie Dunes. If the wind blows, breaking 80 would be a great day."
Up next for Hayden in his golfing career is Hutchinson Community College, which is one of top junior college programs in the country. After that, Hayden hopes to play at a Division I school.
"Hutch has an unbelievable golf program," Hayden said. "It's a great school for athletes and I'm looking forward to taking my game there."