FORT SMITH (KFSM) - While most teens spend their summer break at the pool, Southside’s Sydney Staton prefers to be on a golf course, competing in tournaments across the state.
"I have played in about six so far," said Staton. "I really haven’t been doing anything else. All I do is work and play golf so I have no time to do anything else."
Staton’s dedication has paid off. The Arkansas State Golf Association has her as the number four golfer in the Junior rankings. Her biggest win to date came last month, when she captured the overall girl’s title at the Fianna Hills Junior Championship.
"It was a really big boost in my self-esteem," said Staton. "I know that I can win one tournament, so I can win every tournament I play in. I would say this is probably the best one since I shot a 70."
Staton has been playing golf since the age of four, but she says that her new coach, Bentonville swing coach Phillip Walker, has helped take her game to the next level.
"He’s built me from the ground up," said Staton. "He’s worked a lot with my swing, but also with the mental part of the game because I was really not confident in myself. I’m shooting a lot lower and I’m striking the ball way better and I’m more confident then I have ever been."
She also feels confident on the course, because her family also dedicates their summer to traveling and watching her play.
"My grandmother comes to a lot of them, and my parents are their all the time," said Staton. "They take off any chance they get to come watch me play golf."
While the soon-to-be senior is still exploring college options for golf, she knows that even after college she can’t imagine a life without the sport she loves.
"I would like to teach golf," said Staton. "Probably be the first girl teacher in the state."
Staton verbally committed to play golf for Arkansas Tech on Friday (July7).