A Spot of British on the Golf Team
Corey Sheppard left his home and tea kettle in England when he came to America to pursue his dreams.
Sheppard, from Salisbury England, and has been playing golf since he was 5 years old and now, a junior at Lee University, has plans of going pro.
Without a team to play on in highschool or middle school, Sheppard snuck away to the golf course whenever he could to master his sport. Though being so far from home was tough at first, Sheppard has since bought himself his own tea kettle and has adapted well to life at Lee.
“We had to teach him some of the rules to football and basketball, but now he probably knows more about the NBA than most of the guys on the team,” Senior Shea Sylvester said.
Now Sheppard has multiple conferences under his putter and is well on his way to his dreams of going pro.
Sheppard played every sport when he was young. Soccer, tennis, badminton, you name it he played it. However, when golf became how he and his father communicated, Sheppard decided to stick to his clubs and tees.
Sheppard's father took his son to the course to practice multiple times a week. Even when Sheppard didn't want to practice, his dad was there to encourage him and drive him to the course. Sheppard and his father shared the love of the sport, playing together and taking road trips to conferences. Despite the struggles of having a second coach share a bathroom with him, Sheppard and his father were able to grow close through their love of golf.
"I want to play well so my dad is proud that I played well," Sheppard said.
Sheppard gives credit to his father for coming so far in his golf career. Without his pushing and persistence, Sheppard says he wouldn't be the player that he is today.
“You could write a book in his back swing. There’s something artistic about it.” Sylvester said
Sheppard's family and friends back in England are also supporting him. He plays for them, pushing on and going to practice without his dad telling him to. Knowing so many people are behind him, hoping for his brighter future, Sheppard puts his heart into his puts. He is confident on the course even with all the pressures of home facing him. He has learned to shake off the bad puts and be excited about the good ones.
“Just try an’ laugh it off, and go try and find your ball in the trees and play the next shot,” Sheppard said.
Sheppard confessed to throwing things on the course when he didn't play well, but said he has learned to control his frustration so he can continue to play.
“He’s one of the most talented players on the team when he believes in himself,” assistant golf coach, Hunter Vest said.
If Sheppard's plans of playing golf professionally doesn't work out, he hopes to coach golf at a university here in America. With his team, family and friends supporting and encouraging him to try to play professional golf, Sheppard looks forward to chasing his dreams.