EDUCATION

Video: High School golfer dreams of going pro

Sean Gillen
Oxford Stories
stgillen@go.olemiss.edu

An Oxford High School golfer dreams of playing professionally on the PGA Tour.

Colby James, also known as C.J. Easley, 17, is an OHS junior whose golf journey began when he was 3. Easley remembers playing golf with his father.

Golf was never forced on Easley. While growing up, he also played travel baseball and football.

“One week would be baseball; the next week golf,” he said. “Before I turned 9, my parents wanted me to take either golf or baseball.”

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C.J. Easley. Photo by Sean Gillen.

Today, Easley plays golf at a competitive level. He practices daily, taking “long breaks” (about a week) after a tournament.

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C.J. Easley hits a chip shot onto the green. Photo by Sean Gillen.

An average season for Easley may include tournaments April through September, practicing with two to three tournaments October through March, and playing with the high school golf team February through May.

Playing year-round, Easley plays on three separate tours: the American Junior Golf Association, the Southeastern Junior Golf Tour, and the Mississippi Junior Golf Association.

What does Easley seek to accomplish in his golf career?

“My ultimate goal is to play professionally, on the PGA Tour,” he said. “But right now, I’m enjoying my time, meeting new people, making connections, and networking for the future.”

Easley realized golf could be something more than just a hobby when he won his first AJGA tournament. He was the youngest golfer at the tournament by two years, and won by two shots. He then realized he could compete with elite talent. Since then, his confidence has grown.

Easley has verbally committed to Auburn University. It is something he is proud of, but he knows he didn’t get to this point by himself.

“I am very thankful for my parents,” he said. “They have worked multiple jobs to help with golf expenses.”

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Auburn commit, C.J. Easley, hits a shot on the fairway. Photo by Sean Gillen.

Easley knows his journey isn’t complete. With one more year left in high school, his next chapter is getting ready to begin. More days are to follow with long practice sessions and workouts. His mentality.

“I just try not to take anything for granted,” he said. “In golf, it’s one shot at a time that translates over to taking things one day at a time. I try to be focused and present in the moment.”

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