No rest for Aidan Kramer, a scholar, golfer and philanthropist

No rest for Aidan Kramer, a scholar, golfer and philanthropist

College

No rest for Aidan Kramer, a scholar, golfer and philanthropist

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The amount of time college athletes spend on perfecting their craft throughout the year is comparable to that of a full-time job. That’s especially true in golf, which has a year-long season.

What’s constantly forgotten is the fact that they aren’t just athletes, they’re student athletes, and a rigorous academic schedule awaits when they leave the course.

Figuring out the school/sport balance can be tough for most, but don’t expect Georgia Tech 2020 signee Aidan Kramer to struggle when he arrives on campus next fall.

On the course, Kramer ranks No. 79 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Boys Junior Rankings, and No. 26 in the Class of 2020. Where he separates himself from the rest of the future stars of college golf who put pen to paper during Wednesday’s National Signing Day is off the course, specifically in the classroom.

The Hagerty High School (Oviedo, Florida) senior is top 10 in his class with a 4.59 weighted GPA, scored a 35 on the ACT and is a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist, with the finalist announcement coming in February. Not bad for 17 years old.

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“One of the main draws for Georgia Tech was the balance it has academically and with golf,” said Kramer, who plans to major in industrial engineering. “The value of a degree from Georgia Tech was something I couldn’t pass up. I’ve spent a lot of time on my academics and in school, and I think it has helped me prepare for a place like Georgia Tech, where you need to do both and can’t get by with just golf.”

Kramer, who has his sights on the PGA Tour, called Georgia Tech the “perfect place” to achieve his goals, citing the legacy of great players who have come through the golf program and made it on Tour.

Despite his professional aspirations, Kramer isn’t getting ahead of himself. He’s focused on taking the process one day at a time, and while he may have school figured out, he knows he has plenty to improve on before his freshman season.

“Golf-wise, you have to have a mindset of getting better every day,” Kramer said of his game. “Nothing is as good as it can be and I need to be better in every area.”

In the little downtime Kramer has from hitting the books or golf balls, he enjoys watching football and movies or playing ping pong, like most teenagers. That said, he’s unlike most his age, especially when asked about his dream golf foursome. His answers? Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer (upon realizing he forgot himself, he would later bench Hogan).

For the last two years, his free time has also been spent working with Orlando’s local Fairways for Warriors organization, which is dedicated to decreasing the number of veterans who commit suicide and helping them readjust to civilian life when they return from combat.

“They use the game of golf to bring people together and form camaraderie between veterans,” explained Kramer. “It’s really been amazing to see the impact (Fairways for Warriors) has had on veterans in the area.”

Kramer not only volunteers. He also started an equipment drive for the veterans in need through donations from local golfers, equipment manufacturers and clubs in the area.

“The response has been really positive,” he said. “People really seem to want to help out and I’ve been overwhelmed with the support I’ve gotten.”

This year’s runner-up at the Florida High School 3A State Championship, Kramer committed to Bruce Heppler and the Yellow Jackets in the fall of 2018, picking Georgia Tech over the likes of Wisconsin, Virginia and Northwestern. The current 11-man roster will look different next year when senior leaders Luke Schniederjans, Tyler Strafaci and U.S. Amateur champion Andy Ogletree graduate, opening the door for Kramer to earn a spot in the lineup.

“The fields in junior golf are so deep and guys are coming into college with the belief they’re competing with the same guys they always have been,” Kramer said. “It’s encouraging to see the success the guys before us had at a young age and I’m looking forward to continuing that and stepping in.”

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