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VIProfile: Jake Sheffield

By Liz Lyons

Arnold Palmer said that golf “is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.” Jake Sheffield shares this sentiment. He started playing golf with his dad and uncle when he was just seven years old. “My dad’s older brother Mike (who passed away last year) taught my dad to play golf when he was young. Dad passed on his love of golf to me, starting at a local driving range. I fell in love with it and never stopped playing. Even though my Uncle Mike isn’t with us any longer, I owe my love of this sport to him,” said Sheffield. He still plays with his dad and has made a few other golfing buddies along the way. “My dad is still my favorite playing partner. I met my best friend, Dylan Koates, at the US Kids Red, White and Blue event when he won. I came in second and love playing with him. I have tons of local friends that are always playing with me too.”

Jake Sheffield, 14, was one of two youth golfers from Tennessee to make the elite Drive, Chip & Putt National Finals at the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. The Maryville High School golfer was crowned champion of the boys 14-15 group, beating out nine other top competitors from around the country. His dad, Kevin Sheffield, said that they couldn’t have done it without help from local PGA pro Scott Stallings. “Scott and his team provided support through the whole thing. He is a huge supporter of junior golf in the area and the entire state of Tennessee.” When asked about his son, he said, “his plans will always have something to do with golf. We are heading into the heart of golf season, and it will be a very busy summer. At 14 years old, he’s always challenging himself to play tougher competition. He is completely certain that he wants to play golf in college and hopefully be a professional one day. It’s honestly all he thinks about.”

While Jake may have golf on the brain quite a bit, he has a great approach to his game. “I love knowing that every time I go out there, it is always different and that when I practice enough I can see my progress. The mental part has to be the toughest. Letting go of a bad hole and staying strong during a tough round. The best advice I’ve received is to remember there is life outside of golf. Having other interests and hobbies help me balance out my life. My family is the most important thing to me, and I take every chance I get to hang out with my sisters and brother-in-law since they’re grown and gone from the house.” His advice for others striving to achieve their dreams is wise beyond his years. “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do well. Believe in your ability and have fun.”

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