Ty Adkins overcame a lot in the last year.
The Hutchinson junior made a change to his golf swing over the summer. Since the adjustment, he has increased his golf game dramatically. This season alone, Adkins has won three tournaments and shot a season-best 64 at the Salina Central invitational on April 4.
He also has two runner-up finishes and a third-place finish. Adkins shot a 76 at the Newton invitational on April 14, a 70 at the Dodge City invite April 21, and a 74 at the Derby tournament April 25 before securing second place at the home Hutchinson tournament with a 70 and one under par.
But in the past three tournaments, Adkins’ grandfather, Hal Ramsey, has been absent. Adkins said Ramsey broke his leg recently and has had some heart problems, which has caused him to miss some meets. He said Ramsey had gone to every high school tournament he has competed in.
“I’ve really missed him being here,” Adkins said. “I’m definitely trying to do better (during the meetings). Although I wish he was here, I’m still playing for him almost every day.”
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Adkins will use that drive to try and reach his ultimate goal – a state championship, possibly two – with him just being a junior. Adkins is a two-year varsity golfer, he would’ve been a three-year letterman had the COVID-19 pandemic occurred during his first year of high school.
From the beginning of his trek in golf, Troy Adkins, Ty’s father, got him into the sport.
“My dad really got me into the game,” Ty said, “and he plays with me every once in a while, and we hit it around. He really got me into it, and then we started playing tournament golf probably when I was 11 or 12 (years old). I’ve been playing ever since then.”
Since Adkins began playing tournaments, he has put a lot of practice into perfecting his craft and game. His golf swing was one of the core parts of his game he underwent a change with over the summer. He said the reason for the change was to increase his distance from him on his drives and swings while also maximizing accuracy.
Prairie Dunes Golf Course head pro John Lanham was the mind behind helping Adkins work on the new swing.
“That really probably took me the whole summer just to get that down, and once I got that down, it was great,” Adkins said. “It was probably three summers ago to last summer that was probably the biggest change I saw in my golf game.”
Adkins said he likes the sport because the feeling is all on you – the individual accountability, recognizing the wind, the amount of power in the swing, reading the greens. All of it.
“You’re the only one you can blame,” Adkins said. “You can’t blame anybody else. You can’t blame the wind when everybody’s playing through it. Everybody’s playing the same course as you. It’s just all on you, and I love that part of it.”
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With the difficulty of the game, Adkins emphasized the importance of practice. Changing his swing from him took not only practice but patience as well. He said although a player can practice a lot, it won’t always pay off during tournaments and meets. Thankfully for him, it’s all worked out for the better.
“You definitely have to work on it day by day by day, just practice and hope it pays off,” Adkins said. “I think practice has been a big deal and practicing with a purpose. I think I practice with purpose, and I think I’ve seen the results lately here.”
Adkins is currently ranked the top golfer in the Class 6A Junction City regional standings and Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division I. He’s also ranked the No. 2 golfer in 6A in the entire state – all rankings as of Monday, May 2, 2022.
At the 6A state tournament last year, Adkins finished tied for sixth and shot a two-day total of 153, which was six strokes behind the state champion Chance Rinkol from Blue Valley. He will be back this year to defend that state title.
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For Adkins, getting to participate at big tournaments has helped him learn how to deal with high-pressure situations. It’s made him better at handling it going forward. Hutchinson head golf coach Charlie Pierce has helped him a lot as well, both as a coach and mentor.
“Just helping me buckle down,” Adkins said. “It’s really just taking deep breaths, taking it shot by shot, and not getting ahead of myself. It’s a lot of patience. That’s really what I’ve carried with myself through these tournaments.
“He’s been great from day one. He’s helped me so much with the game and just in life. I’ve learned so much from him. He’s such a great coach and great life mentor. He’s a great guy.”
Hutchinson will play at the Junction City invitational Thursday at Rolling Meadows Golf Course in Milford for its final tune-up before the AVCTL league meet at Newton’s Sand Creek Station Golf Course Tuesday, May 10.
Although Adkins is ranked amongst the top in the class and state, he said he has one goal.
“I’m honestly not satisfied with the top three,” Adkins said. “We’re going to keep working. We’re hopefully going to get higher than that and hopefully be No. 1.
“That’s definitely my goal – to be a state champion.”
Billy Watson is the sports reporter for The Hutchinson News and has been in Kansas since March 2021. To reach out about story ideas, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a direct message on Twitter @hutchsports or @billywatson4l.