Jace Carlisle is going to take his golf clubs and his growing game to the U.S. next season.
Carlisle, a Grade 12 student at the Estevan Comprehensive School (ECS), has committed to play for the Lake Superior State University Lakers, a Division 2 school in the National Collegiate Athletic Association. And while he’ll be playing golf in the U.S., he won’t be far from Canada, as Lake Superior State is on the U.S. side of Sault Ste. Marie.
Canada will be just a quick trip across the border for him.
Carlisle said he selected the Lakers for several reasons. Their golf program is excellent and their team is supportive.
“I just felt they were going to be so welcoming, and would help me out with my freshman year,” he said.
He was also impressed with their coach.
Finally, they have a kinesiology program with a sports management major, and they were the only school he was looking at with such a program.
There were other schools that he spoke with, including some in Division 2 and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, but he ultimately selected Lake Superior State.
He also cited Lake Superior State’s proximity to the Canada-U.S. border. If he were to suffer an injury and need medical assistance, then he can come to Canada and not have to worry about U.S. medical bills.
It hasn’t taken long for Carlisle to make friends at the school, either. He didn’t know anybody before visiting the school for the first time, but now there are kids from the school he has befriended.
“They’re trying to rebuild their roster with Canadians. They’re good and we’ll hopefully get a higher ranking this coming year,” said Carlisle.
He believes the mental side of his game will require work between now and when he arrives in the U.S. in the fall.
“During tournaments, I need to stay in the right mindset and not get too hard on myself,” he said. “It affected me last year.”
His short game, including his putting and chipping, could also use some work, but that’s a common refrain among golfers.
The time he has spent in the junior golf program at the TS&M Woodlawn Golf Course, and with the ECS Elecs golf team, made a big difference in his development.
He credited Amanda Minchin, the head pro and general manager at the golf course, and the staff at Woodlawn, for the time they have spent helping him develop.
“I remember when I was just little going out to the Wednesday morning junior events, and being excited to play with other kids, and Amanda has helped me out. She was my coach for seven years.”
Wes Kreklewich from ECS has also been a big supporter.
“I can’t thank him enough for everything he’s done, and playing with the group of guys I did with the golf team at ECS, with all of my friends, just pushed me to be better,” said Carlisle.
Competing on the Maple Leaf Junior Tour has also served him well, because it has broadened the number of competitors and allowed him to play against the best in the province.
Carlisle said securing a golf scholarship has been a goal since he began playing golf competitively when he was 12. He’s the latest from Estevan to get a golf scholarship, and Carlisle believes he is carrying on a tradition of success.
“There are a few guys next year that will hopefully be looking to get golf scholarships. I think this is going to be a tradition here for a couple of years.”