Steamboat Springs graduating senior takes lessons he learned on course to college
Steamboat Springs — Spencer Petersen isn’t sure what the future holds, but the Steamboat Springs High School senior, who will graduate Saturday, knows that both college and golf will be a part of it.
On Monday, Peterson became the fourth recipient of the Steamboat Springs Junior Golf Association’s annual scholarship in the past three years. Petersen, who is headed to Western Washington University just outside Bellingham, said he will pursue a chemical engineering degree and was thankful for the $2,000 gift he received from the local junior golfing association.
“It’s awesome,” Petersen said. “I knew it would help make things easier on my parents financially.”
Spencer isn’t sure exactly what he will use the money for, but he knows it will come in handy to help cover the expenses that come from the first year of college.
“I’m not sure — maybe I will use it for tuition or books or something like that, but I’m thankful to have it,” Petersen said. “I don’t think the players think about the scholarship when they are playing golf, but it’s a really nice reward when you finally get to the end.”
Former Steamboat Springs golf coach Steve Dodson helped get the scholarship, and the tournament that supports junior golf across the valley, running a few years ago. Today, the Steamboat Springs Junior Golf Association hands out this scholarship once a year and supports several junior golf programs in the valley.
“I can’t think of a more deserving young man,” Dodson said of Petersen. “There were a number of factors that go into winning this scholarship, and Spencer is a great example of the type of player we want to reward. He had a great GPA, he was involved in the community and showed a great work ethic on the golf course. He was prepared to play the game all four years he was on the high school team.”
Dodson hopes the scholarship will become the carrot that drives more junior players to the course and to the high school team in the future. He said the scholarship has a line of great representatives who recognize great young members of the community. Three years ago, Sam Samlowski became the first winner, and last year, the honor was shared by Casey Weston and Erik Sobeck.
“Hopefully the young players appreciate the recognition that goes along with the scholarship,” Dodson said.
Petersen isn’t sure what the next four years in Washington will bring. But he plans to pursue his degree and says he will remember all the lessons he learned on the golf course even if he’s not on a college team. He said the game taught him the importance of being courteous on the course, and it’s something he practices off the course now.
“The last four years, I’ve spent countless hours playing golf,” Petersen said. “The biggest thing it teaches me is patience. You may not be a pro golfer, or take it for any kind of career, but golf is something you will have your whole life, and it’s really cool … I’m going to play golf for the rest of my life no matter what — whether it’s competitive or weekend warrior stuff. I will always play golf.
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