Cole Hammer has made his college choice before deciding where he will attend high school.
Hammer, 14, of Houston, gave a verbal commitment to play college golf at Texas in 2018. The eighth-grader at River Oaks Baptist School has yet to pick a high school.
Hammer visited SMU this fall, but he focused on Texas, knowing that’s where he wants to play.
“He loves Austin, Texas, and has always wanted to go to college at UT and play on the golf team,” Gregg Hammer, Cole’s father, said in an email on behalf of his son. “The golf program at UT has a great history, and over the last several years the team has consistently been at or near the top. He had several unofficial visits to UT and was very impressed with the on-campus and off-campus facilities. Most importantly, Cole really likes Coach (John) Fields and Coach (Ryan) Murphy.”
During 2013, Hammer played in 13 events. He won seven times and had five other top-5 finishes. He won five Legends Junior Tour – part of the Texas Golf Association – events and was named the Legends Player of the Year in the 14-and-under division. Hammer also finished second at the ...
Thomas Johnson (No. 32, Class of 2015) has committed to Oklahoma.
Johnson, who lives in Norman, Okla., and attends Norman North High School, made visits to Oklahoma and Arkansas. According to his father, Johnny, said Thomas grew up wanting to play for the Sooners.
"Once they wanted him, he really did not think about any other schools," Johnny Johnson said.
Some of Johnson's top finishes this year include a runner-up at the Jim McLean Invitational, shared medalist honors at the Oklahoma 6A state high school tournament, a victory at the PGA Junior Series event at Arbor Links, a 10th-place showing at the PGA Junior and 12th-place finish at the Oklahoma Open.
The Alabama Crimson Tide came out victorious over the LSU Tigers on the football field Nov. 9. But the Tide fell when it came to Sam Burns’ commitment.
Burns, the No. 10 player in the class of 2015 according to the Golfweek/Sagarin junior rankings, announced his verbal commitment to LSU on Nov. 15.
“I just felt like LSU could make me the best I could be,” Burns said. “Coach (Churck) Winstead is a really good guy. He knows a lot about golf, and I felt like he has a plan that could help get me to the next level.
“Nathan Jeansonne, who I’m a good buddy with and we practice together all the time, he committed to LSU. And another kid, Eric Ricard, who’s down there, he’s from Shreveport (La.) as well. Having all the Shreveport guys and three of your friends, I feel like we can play really well together and win a national championship.”
Burns took in the huge football game on a visit to Alabama, which made his final three schools along with Oklahoma. But the Crimson atmosphere was not enough to sway Burns, who said coaches, facilities and teammates were the most ...
Nathan Pirtle of Sullivan, Ind., who is ranked No. 75 by Golfweek for the Class of 2015, has committed to play college golf at Purdue.
Pirtle's father, Kent, said that Nathan "really hit it off" with Purdue coach Rob Bradley and that the facilities were another big factor in Nathan's choosing the Boilermakers.
Pirtle won the 2013 AJGA PNC Junior. He also finished third at the 2013 Golfweek Midwest Junior Invitational and fourth at the 2013 Golfweek Junior Tour Championship.
James Mishoe IV has given a verbal commitment to play college golf for North Carolina-Greensboro. Mishoe, of Cary, N.C., also visited North Carolina, Charlotte, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Elon and South Carolina.
Mishoe said UNCG was a good fit because of the smaller team size as well as the compact campus. He also made his decision on the opportunity to play for head coach Terrance Stewart.
“I was also made to feel welcome by the other students on campus along with the team members,” he said.
Mishoe tied for ninth at the North Carolina Junior in June, and he tied for 29th at the Joe Cheves Invitational. He earned a top-10 finish at the George Holiday Memorial and a top-20 finish at the Donald Ross Junior.
Andrew Jacobe of Houston has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Vanderbilt in 2015. Jacobe also visited Duke, Rice and Virginia before deciding to become a Commodore. He is a junior at The Kinkaid School.
"I chose Vanderbilt because of its excellence in both golf and academics," Jacobe said. "I really like Coach (Scott) Limbaugh and Coach (Dusty) Smith and their dedication to having a championship program. Also, I like the city of Nashville and believe the school is just a great fit for me."
Jacobe won the Southwest Preparatory Conference Golf Championships in Texas as a sophomore. He also recorded four top-15 AJGA finishes in 2013, including a tie for third at the AJGA Brandt Snedeker Music City Junior in Nashville, where he shot a tournament-best 7-under 65 in the final round.
Raul Hernandez has given a verbal commitment to Houston Baptist for the fall of 2014. The Venezuela native resides in League City, Texas.
Hernandez also visited Houston, Texas State, Sam Houston State and Rice before deciding on Houston Baptist. He also was contacted by Purdue, Liberty, Central Florida and Notre Dame.
"HBU is a great fit for me, has a good golf team and is a great school," Hernandez said. "I think Coach (David) Shuster is great person and will help me do my best."
Hernandez is part of Venezuela's national amateur and junior teams. He finished fourth as an individual at the International Tournament of Jockey Club de Rosario. He was the runner-up at the AJGA’s Goodman Networks Junior Championship and finished in the top 10 at the AJGA’s Under Armour/Hunter Mahan Championship and the Genesis Shootout.
Zach Tracy has given a verbal commitment to play college golf for Houston. Tracy also visited Oklahoma State, New Mexico and North Texas. He chose Houston almost immediately.
Tracy’s ties to Houston athletics run deep. His dad and grandfather played football for the Cougars, and his swing coach Marty Fleckman played golf there. Staying in the Houston area allows Tracy, from Houston, to continue his work with Fleckman.
“I think Coach (Jonathan) Dismuke and Coach (Chris) Hill are building a great program, and I want to be a part of what they are doing,” Tracy said.
Tracy plays for Seven Lakes High School in Katy, just west of Houston. He was medalist at the district and regional tournaments for Seven Lakes, and advanced to the Texas 5A State Championship as a sophomore. Tracy won the AJGA Arrowhead Junior this summer by eight shots.
Zander Lozano of Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas, has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Texas San Antonio in 2014.
Lozano, a senior at Samuel V. Champion High School in Boerne, made unofficial visits and talked with Texas A&M, Liberty, Arizona, TCU and Houston before choosing UTSA.
"I picked UTSA because it's a great university, has great academics, has a great golf program and because Coach (John) Knauer is the best coach out there,” Lozano said. “We have a great relationship, and Bill Rogers (a former PGA Tour player who serves as director of golf development) is also on staff. With all that experience, UTSA was the best choice for me."
Lozano finished T-12 at the 2013 AJGA Goodman Networks Junior at Timarron. As a member of the U.S. National Junior team, he visited Scotland for match-play competition in June. He also played in the Callaway Junior World Championships and the U.S. Junior Amateur.
Mitchell Meissner has given a verbal commitment to play for Rice University. Meissner also made unofficial visits to Davidson, William and Mary, Pepperdine, San Diego and Loyola Marymount. He received offers from Davidson and William and Mary.
Meissner, from San Antonio, chose Rice because of the opportunity to play for head coach Justin Emil.
“He is an excellent role model and dedicated to growing their program,” Meissner said. “Rice is the perfect balance of golf and excellent academics.”
So far this year, Meissner has posted two top-10 finishes in AJGA events. He won the San Antonio Junior Championshp, and also led his Alamo Heights High School golf team to the 4A State Championship.
Ian Hildebrand of Purcellville, Va., has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Virginia Tech in 2014.
Hildebrand, a senior at Loudoun Valley High School, also visited James Madison, William and Mary, Delaware, Penn State, Longwood and Elon before committing to Virginia Tech.
“I chose Virginia Tech for its national recognition and academic reputation,” Hildebrand said. “They have a strong, close-knit golf program led by Coach (Jay) Hardwick and Coach (Brian) Sharp who are committed to excellence and bringing out the best in each player.”
He played in the 2013 Virginia-Carolinas Team Match Play competition, in which he went 2-0-1 against the Carolinas. Hildebrand finished second at the AJGA’s William Penn Junior Championship and in the top 8 in the Virginia Match Play and Stroke Play Championships this summer.
Sam Meuret has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at Iowa in 2014.
Meuret of Brunswick, Neb., also looked at Minnesota, Nebraska and Kansas.
“I felt very comfortable about Iowa City and the campus," said Meuret, a senior at Plainview High School. "They have incredible facilities, a great team, and I love both of the coaches (Mark Hankins and assistant Dan Holterhaus).”
In 2013, Meuret won the Nebraska Class C state title and the Nebraska Junior Amateur. He placed fourth at the AJGA’s Kansas Junior at Buffalo Dunes. He also qualified for match play at the U.S. Junior Amateur (Round of 64).
Kyler Dunkle of Castle Rock, Colo., has given a verbal commitment to play collegiate golf at Colorado State in 2014.
Dunkle, who attends Douglas County High School, also looked at Kansas, Denver and BYU.
“I chose CSU because of the coaches and also the atmosphere that I will get to play in,” Dunkle said. “Competing against some of the best collegiate players in the nation will be a great challenge. I am excited to start my career in college golf.”
In 2013, Dunkle placed sixth at the Colorado Junior Stroke Play Championship. He also had two top-five finishes at the FCWT at Wigwam Golf Resort and at the FCWT at Half Moon Bay.
Max Rispler has given a verbal commitment to play college golf at South Alabama in 2014.
Rispler a Forest Hills, Mich., native, spent eight months in Florida at Mike Bender Elite Academy. He looked at Michigan State, Iowa and Colorado State. It came down to Colorado State and South Alabama.
He picked South Alabama because of head coach, Ben Hannan.
“He understands golfers, he's huge into family and he saw a lot more in me than any other coach,” Rispler said. “A lot of the other coaches, I felt, saw me as a score instead of a person. He saw me as a person rather than a score. He knows that I have a ton of talent and my best golf is ahead of me.”
Rispler is a senior at Forest Hills Central. He was an all-conference and an all-state golfers as a freshman and sophomore. He has won three times on the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour since November 2012, as well as 5 top-10 finishes.
Ben Baxter has given a verbal commitment to play for SMU. Baxter, who lives in Flower Mound, Texas, also visited Houston, Arkansas, Indiana and Notre Dame.
Baxter said he liked the feel of the SMU campus, and its academic reputation also played a role in his college decision. Baxter attends a charter school in Lewisville, Texas called iSchool High.
“I believe that Coach (Josh) Gregory and Coach (Jason) Enloe are the best coaches in the nation and ones that I fully trust to improve my game,” Baxter said.
Baxter recently finished eighth at the AJGA’s Goodman Networks Junior at Traditions. He had three top-15 finishes in AJGA events in 2012, and finished T-3 at the 2011 Preseason Junior at Brickhaven.