On the golf course, there are few things Marietta's Jared Hammons can't do.
The senior Tiger is excelling at all phases of the game, including driving, putting, and now, short game. But it has not come without practice.
"I've put a lot of work into my short game," Hammons said. "I have a new short game coach, and he's really helped me improve. Now if I do miss the green, I feel comfortable getting up and down."
Times file photo
Marietta High’s Jared Hammons, above, swings away at a prep golf meet last year. The senior Tiger has worked hard on his game, and gotten off to a great start this season.
As far as 2012, Hammons has big expectations for his senior season.
"I have high hopes for this year, playing in the state tournament," Hammons said. "That's my number one goal."
He talked about the switch from long time Tiger golf coach John Matheny to new coach John Doughty.
"It's really tough to replace someone like Coach Matheny," Hammons said. "He's kind of been the fixture of a successful Marietta golf program. It's hard to duplicate the impact he has had. But Coach Doughty is great. He's been really supportive. I think we've really come together as a unit, but it has been an adjustment."
Two major parts of Hammons' game are really coming together, which should benefit him this season.
"I've always been long off the tee," Hammons said. "That's a major part of my game. Lately putting has been a big strength for me. I haven't three-putted in 50-some holes."
That kind of consistency is something many golfers strive for. Doughty has noticed Hammons' hard work paying off.
"Jared's put a lot of time into his game," the coach said after Hammons claimed medalist honors at the 2012 season opening Washington County Championship at Oxbow Golf & Country Club.
Medals are nothing new to Hammons, though. He mentioned some of his career accomplishments that he is most proud of. "Last year, being named Southeastern District Player of the Year was special," Hammons said. "Also, I gained a lot of experience playing with guys like Nick Huggins and Ian Smith earlier in my career."
"I'm proud of myself for not missing a cut in the (American Junior Golf Association), playing against the best competition in the country," Hammons continued.
Another big accomplishment was playing in an outing at the Scioto Country Club. Hammons shot a 75 and placed third at "one of the toughest courses in the state."
When it comes playing at the next level, Hammons said he is thrilled about the possibilities.
"I wouldn't say I have any definitive offers yet," Hammons said. "But I have gained some exposure, and I've started to receive some phone calls. It's exciting. Hopefully playing at state cements my body of work.