While attempting baseball at four years old, Jake Darke was struck by the ball twice. After this experience, he opted to play golf like his father.
Ever since then his competitiveness on the golf course has been nothing short of impressive. Being named GHSGCA 7A All-State Team, Georgia PGA Junior Golf Player of The Year, having the lowest stroke average for ages 16-18 Division, compiling an 18-hole scoring average of 72.71, and now adding Forsyth County Boys Golfer of the year to the list.
“It’s an honor, it's great. It’s good to earn the title and get recognition.” Darke said.
With Darke shooting a round of 68 at Chestatee Golf Club, he secured a spot in the Georgia Amateur July 7-10 at the Landings Club in Savannah.
“I thought I was in, then I went to my 17th hole and hit in the water and doubled. I was right on the line. Then I ended up in a playoff. It was five guys for four spots, so I made it through that. It was kind of a relief to get into that,” Darke said.
Darke shot a round of 7 under 65 at the Governors Towne Club in Acworth to compete in the Southern Amateurs in July at the Plantation Course in Sea Island Georgia.
Darke's best match was when he placed second at the Gwinnett Open.
“The team got second, and I got second so it was fun. I liked to do my part for the team and that was the one I was able to contribute a little bit,” Darke said.
“It was okay, I definitely could’ve done better. I didn’t have the scores I wanted to, but I could build off of it,” Darke said regarding how his season went. “I learned a lot from this season from the whole team and as an individual. So, I can build off of it by going to my summer schedule and my senior year.”
Darke's goal next season is to help Forsyth Central get to state. As an individual player, he wants to average under par.
Justin Thomas who has won two major golf championships, winning the PGA Championship in 2017 and 2022 is someone to whom Darke can compare his skill set.
“I get my hands really high in the back swings similar to what he does, and I love hitting different shots, low or high. I’m not as good as him obviously yet but I feel like we have a similar game or an approach to the game,” Dark said.
Darke will be competing in the Southern Junior in Charleston, South Carolina.
“I don’t like to lose. I don’t like when I go to a competition or a tournament and there’s another guy, I know that outworked me to get there. I like going there knowing I worked the hardest there to try to win. I want to work as hard as I can to get better every single day and go from there,” Darke said.