Golfer Garrett Johnson Talks MSU Commitment

Mortimer Jordan (AL) High School class of 2016 golfer Garrett Johnson talks about his commitment to the Mississippi State men's golf program.

  • Name: Garrett Johnson
  • Classification: 2016
  • High School: Mortimer Jordan (AL) High School
  • Schools of Interest: Committed to Mississippi State

    When did Mississippi State head coach Clay Homan start recruiting you?
    "I noticed him last year at the Futures Tour Champions tournament in Greenville, Mississippi. I didn't think anything about it at the time. Then, this year, in that same tournament he started watching me after he heard about me. And then we started talking."

    What led to you committing to Mississippi State?
    "It came to me one day (where) I realized there was no need to wait any longer with the opportunity that they gave me. There wasn't much of anything else any (other program could provide)."

    What were some things that you liked about Mississippi State?
    "The really big thing is the new (Mississippi State practice) facility that they just built (at the Old Waverly Golf Club). And Mississippi State also kind of reminds me of home. When I am there I feel like it is a home away from home."

    I have heard that you are the kind of player that a coach can build a program around. With that said, what do you think are your strengths as a golfer?
    "It is more about me being out there and having fun. I love (playing golf). It is fun and I always want to go back out there and play. That is the competitive drive in me, what makes me want to keep going out there."

    What is the most fun, when you are near the end and have to make crucial shots to win the tournament?
    "Absolutely! When you are in contention, that is the best part of it. An example is last year in the Futures Tour Champions tournament I birdied five of the last six holes just to get into the playoffs. Then I won the playoff on the second hole. I had never done that before."

    In situations like that most people feel pressure. What do you feel when in those type situations?
    "I do feel the pressure. What I do is try to slow everything down. I may take more time walking to the green, take a little more time over the shot. Take deep breathes to kind of loosen up."

    How did you learn to do those type things?
    "I learned (to do that) early in my golfing career. I've lost tournaments due to feeling the pressure. So, I learned how to deal with it."

    You have a connection with Mississippi Delta singer/songwriter Steve Azar. How did that come about?
    "(My family and I) were in an airport about 2008. We were taking a family trip to St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. We had listened to his music before and saw him in the airport. We went up to him and asked him (if he was Steve Azar). It turned out it was him and he was going to the same place as we were. We went to the concert that he was having down there. Ever since then, we have stayed in contact. Then, one day he called me and told me that he had a tournament in Mississippi and that he wanted me to come play in it. He called me the day before the tournament at 7 o'clock. So, I had no practice round. And it takes 5 hours to get to Greenville from my house. I got there at about 3 am and I teed off at 8 0'clock the next morning. And I wound up winning the tournament."

    What did Steve think about how well you did at the tournament?
    "He was very impressed. He really enjoyed watching it. He was almost happier than I was about (the win)."

    You have played well in some other tournaments as well, haven't you?
    "I will start with the beginning of my tournaments this summer. I play on a junior tour called SJGT (Southeastern Junior Golf Tour). I have played in three of those this summer and have won two of them and came in third in the other one. I also played in the Alabama State Am, which is one of the bigger tournaments in Alabama. I placed 8th in it. I shot 1 under for the tournament."

    Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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