By Don Lowe
In only about a year’s time, since Carthage Lady Tigers sophomore standout Shay Gaddis first picked up golf in 2021, she’s become laser focused on taking her game to a much higher level.
While Gaddis has three more years of high school golf in front of her, she already aspires to play collegiately and perhaps even beyond.
“I think the most enjoyable things about golf are the community and the people you are around and how rewarding it is when you improve,” Gaddis says.
In considering aspects to stepping onto the links that can be difficult at times while striving for success, Gaddis shares, “I think the main challenge in golf is hitting a bad shot and trying to erase that shot completely from your mind.”
All challenges aside, Carthage Head Coach James Newman sees quite a bit of talent in Gaddis, and he says, “Shay is one of the biggest ball strikers I’ve seen in girls high school golf.
“That is the overwhelming strength in Shay’s game. I see her work ethic and drive as what leads me to believe she will only continue to improve.”
Shay says of her game, “I think the best part of my game at the moment would be my tee shots.”
As she speculates on areas on the links that are most pivotal to doing well, Gaddis says, “The key parts of golf are always going to be your short game.
“At the same time, you really have to spend a lot of time working on it and practicing to perfect that part of your game.”
Gaddis is serious about perfecting her play and, so much so, other sports do not interfere. “Golf is definitely my favorite and what I’m best at.”
Coach Newman couldn’t be happier to have the likes of Gaddis helping his Lady Tigers as they strive for success on the links.
While Coach Newman appreciates the skills of Gaddis and others, he can’t help but be particularly thrilled with how these young ladies handle themselves on and off the course.
“I’m proud of all my student-athletes for the work they put into golf, which is something they seem to love,” he says. “And they do this while balancing all the stresses of being a high school student.”
Gaddis handles herself as well as anyone on Coach Newman’s squad whether it is in the classroom or swinging a golf club, while playing an integral role for the Lady Tigers linksters.
Fortunately for CHS, Gaddis still has 2 more years of eligibility at the high school level after 2022-23 and is likely to just shine brighter and brighter as time goes by.
Carthage Sophomore Star Golfer Shay Gaddis Fast Facts
Age: 15, sophomore
School: Carthage High School
Parents: Dustin Gaddis & Jennifer Nichols
Sibling: Brooke Gaddis (13 years old, 8th grade)
Favorite Subject: Math
Favorite Food: Sushi
Favorite Sports Movie: Tin Cup
Favorite Female Pro Golfer: Nelly Korda