DURANT, Okla. — Hayden Foster has been a mainstay on the Savage Storm golf team.
The 21-year-old senior accounting major from Pottsboro is scheduled to graduate this year and plans to return and obtain his MBA while pursuing professional golf.
Anyone who can play 13 rounds in five tournaments and log an average score of 71.31 could definitely have a future with the best players in the world.
Foster considered Harding University and Texas A&M-Commerce before making Southeastern his choice or furthering his education and his golfing ambitions.
“I chose Southeastern because of the golf team,” Foster said. “Zach James played a big part in my coming here.
“I feel my time at Southeastern has been very well spent. I have met some great people here and had the honor of playing on the Storm golf team. Dr. Rhonda Richards is my advisor and I can go to her with any questions I may have about school or beyond.”
Molly Franks is in her second year as Southeastern golf coach. She and Foster would practice at Tanglewood when she was in college and he was in high school.
“Hayden is one of those guys everyone wants on their team,” Franks said. “He works hard, has a good time and gets things done. If I could have a team full of Haydens I would take it in a heartbeat.
“If the team needed an up and down to win the tournament, Hayden is the guy I want there to execute it.
The 5-11, 195-pounder can drive the ball a long way, but he considers his strength to be putting and the short game.
“I used to get discouraged when I would make bad shots, but not so much now. Every golfer will hit bad shots at some point. I try to forget them and concentrate on the next shot,” Foster said. “Golf can be very frustrating and you have to find a way to get past that or it will ruin everything. Golf is good training for just about anything you will ever do. It teaches you to overcome and move on.”
He started playing golf the summer before his freshman year in high school when he went with a friend and got hooked. After playing freshman baseball, he decided to drop other sports and concentrate on golf.
“After playing golf,” Foster said, “baseball just wasn’t it for me.”
He has already been a success in collegiate golf and is looking forward to the last half of his senior season.
Foster was a three-time all-state selection at Pottsboro. He started getting serious about the game in his sophomore year. Everybody seems to have suggestions for golfers and he especially remembers one bit of advice.
“Steve James, Zach’s dad, told me — greens and pars,” Foster said. “I will never forget those words. If you take care of the greens and the pars, everything else will fall into place.”
James was Foster’s Southeastern teammate who graduated last year. Both Zach and Hayden were recruited to Southeastern by former golf coach Don Hudson.
Foster said he has no regrets about his career choice. If he had to do it over, he might take a look at his first love — motocross. He was ranked 11th nationally at age 10. He said his mother would likely discourage a return to that sport since it’s very dangerous.
Foster shot a 64 in his junior year at Southeastern in his first college win.
He has one hole-in-one and it came in the conference championship match in his freshman year. He carded a 69, his lowest round up to that time.
“I thought my time at Southeastern would be good,” Foster said, “but it has been better than I expected.”