Holmes County golfer competing in Junior PGA Championship

A woman swinging at a frisbee in the grass.Savannah Goodman tees off during a round of golf. [CONTRIBUTED]


Holmes County rising junior, Savannah Goodman has established herself as one of the top amateur golfers in the southeast, qualifying for the Junior PGA Championship.

In her first two high school seasons, Goodman qualified for the FHSAA State Championship meet twice and took first place in regionals as a sophomore.

But her golf journey began long before the ninth grade.

‘I played my first tournament in the fourth grade, and I’d say kind of fifth grade on I’ve been playing competitively,’ Goodman said.

Since then, she hasn’t looked back, turning her hobby into a lifestyle.

‘During a week, I’d say I practice a good five times, five or six times,’ Goodman said.

While the summer might be a break for most in high school, it’s the opposite for Goodman.

‘During the summer, it’s tournament season, Goodman said. ‘So I’ve been gone the majority of my summer just traveling all over the South, (playing at) different tournaments.’

Her most recent competition was at the Azalea City Golf Course in Mobile, Alabama, playing in the Northwest Florida-Alabama Junior PGA Championship qualifier, a tournament she was desperate to win.

‘No matter if I was two over at the time or if I was four under at the time, like I just was like next shot, next shot,’ Goodman said. ‘If I just made a birdie, okay next hole. If I just made a double bogey, it’s the next hole.’

Her game plan worked out. Goodman took first place in the tournament, shooting 141 in two rounds, finishing at -3 par.

The win made her one of 156 girls from all over the United States, and even some international golfers to qualify, many of whom are All-American high school seniors committed to the top colleges.

‘I know I’ll be playing with a lot of girls who are going to play D1 golf next year and that’s where I want to get to,’ Goodman said. ‘And so just being able to have the opportunity to go and compete against them and just see, okay, where do I need to get better? Where does my game compare to theirs and how can I get to where they’re at?’

The age requirements for the Junior PGA Championship allow for golfers who are still 18 at the start of the tournament to compete. Goodman is only 16, but she’s not scared of the challenge.


‘The golf course doesn’t know how old you are, the golf clubs don’t know how old you are, the golf balls don’t know how old you are, so it’s a game of who has the best golf game not a game of age.’

But as the small-town girls from Bonifay prepares for the big stage in Hot Spring, Arkansas, she’s excited to represent her hometown most people have never heard of.

‘It’s honestly just really special to be able to go,’ Goodman said. ‘Other people are representing bigger cities or towns, but I can come and be like, I represent Bonifay, Florida, and I’m proud of it.’

Goodman departs for Hot Springs on Saturday, July 29, and will begin practice rounds on Sunday and Monday. The opening round of the Junior PGA Championship begins on Tuesday, August 1.

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