LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (July 1, 2019) — Austin Vogt could only speculate about where he’d be if he hadn’t met PGA Tour star Jordan Spieth a few years ago. But he was certain he wouldn’t be where he is today — one of the top high school golfers in the country who competed at Walt Disney World Resort in the first-ever High School Golf National Championships.
The two-day event, which took place last week at Disney, concluded Friday when tournament officials from the invitation-only event crowned America’s first national high school golf champions.
The 18-year-old Vogt, a native of Newbury, Mass., wasn’t selected for his high school golf team for three consecutive years and nearly gave up on his competitive golf aspirations. Devastated and discouraged after not making the team that first year as a freshman, he had a chance encounter with Spieth shortly afterwards during a PGA Tour event in Boston, a serendipitous meeting in which Spieth implored the young golfer to not give up on his golf dreams. Spieth even recounted to him a story from his own past, when doubt and despair nearly got the best of him.
Instantly energized by the encouraging words of the three-time PGA Tour major champion, Vogt rededicated himself to his golf game and worked diligently at improving his mental toughness. And while he didn’t make his high school golf team his sophomore and junior years, he never gave up, always clinging to the determination and grit instilled in him by Spieth.
Finally, during his fourth and final attempt, he made the team as a senior, and enjoyed a stellar season which culminated in him leading his high school team to a second-place finish in the Massachusetts state championship this year.
Vogt’s grit, determination and improved play led to a coveted invitation to Disney for the inaugural High School Golf National Championships. He is one of more than 300 boys and girls who competed for a national title on Disney courses which have hosted some of the biggest names in professional golf over the years including Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and several other top PGA Tour players.