Taylor Hayes is developing her own legacy on the golf course
The phrase, “the apple didn’t fall far from the tree” is not only over-used, but incomplete. At times it doesn’t tell the whole story and gives too much credit to hereditary factors, while discounting the effort that an individual has put in themselves.
Such is the case with Lake Ozark’s Taylor Hayes. The 17 year-old soon-to-be senior at School of the Osage is one of the most talented female golfers on the lake, partially because of her heritage, but mostly because of her own work.
Her father, Tory, is a PGA pro and was the one that introduced and has coached her in the game since she was nine years of age. Her mother, Brenda, coaches the girls’ golf team at School of the Osage. Her brother Ty is an assistant pro at Eldon Golf Course. That’s just part of the story for Taylor, though.
“I practice a lot,” Taylor said. “Osage National is right across the street from where I live so I spend a lot of time there.”
What her family has seen that most others haven’t is all the work that Taylor has put in to her game that has gotten her to this point. Her early days playing in the Lake Ozark Junior Golf Association through her first three years of high school and all the summer tournaments are the public side of hours spent at Osage National putting, driving and practicing.
“I can hit my driver pretty well now. I’m still not the farthest hitter by any means but I can hit it a lot more straightly than I used to be able to. My putting has improved a lot. I can feel the speed and the difference. I can control my speed and not blow the ball by the hole,” Taylor elaborated.
“Her course management is something that her dad and she have worked on a lot,” Brenda added.
Most remarkably, Taylor was one of the early forerunners in girls’ golf on the lake. When Taylor started playing in LOJGA, you could count the number of girls playing on one hand.
“It’s come a long way. When she [Taylor] started playing she was the only girl in her age group and she was playing with boys. When she got bumped up to the next age group, there were still just three girls. Now the number of kids, not just girls, is really impressive,” Brenda commented.
Golf is more than fun for Hayes, though. She plans to play collegiately, although she hasn’t decided exactly where just yet. Hayes plans on majoring in accounting wherever she goes, though.
She wouldn’t play as much as she does if she didn’t enjoy it, however. Hayes says that through her numerous events she has made many friends around the state and Midwest.
When she isn’t practicing, she is involved in student council and showchoir at School of the Osage and in her church. She is also a self-professed movie buff.
Outside of graduating, Hayes has some goals set for her senior year at Osage which include staying in the top 10 in the state, going undefeated in 18-hole play and being a state champion. If Hayes adds those two accolades to her list of accomplishments, there will be more talk about the apple than the tree.