Like most people, University of Houston-Victoria sophomore Steven Jones, doesn’t mind receiving presents on his birthday.
But it was on what would have been his late grandfather’s birthday that presented Jones his best gift to date: his first hole in one.
Jones said it happened three or four years ago, during a golf outing at Comanche Trace, his home course in Kerrville. With that one perfect shot, he said he knew Grandpa was around, keeping an eye on his game.
“It’s like he just dropped the ball in for me,” he said. “It was pretty cool.”
Golf is a lifelong love for the Texas native, whose entire family has played the sport. He first hit the courses around age 3 and continued playing through high school.
Jones is now a member of the UHV men’s golf team. He shot an opening round 71 and tied for 18th at the Jim West Intercollegiate golf tournament in April at Victoria Country Club. He ended the year strong by shooting a three-round 216 to finish 10th at the Association of Independent Institutions Conference Golf Tournament in Prescott, Ariz.
Jones said all the Jaguar golfers get along well.
“We know each other’s routines,” he said, explaining the team had a solid season but could have done better at the conference tournament. “We’re growing and we’re learning, but we can still joke around. If we weren’t able to do that, we wouldn’t have gotten where we did.”
The psychology major said he constantly works to hone his skills, even away from the course. Table tennis, trips to the basketball court and other activities all offer a bit of training.
“Really, it all ties together,” the 19-year-old said. “They might not be the same games, but the same concept and the concentration is there.”
Jones graduated from Kerrville’s Tivy High School in 2011. He hopes to someday have a career in sports psychology.
He admitted the transition to college took a bit of adjustment. Although it was nothing major, he said there were differences when it came to taking tests and paying bills.
Still, it’s gone well.
It helps to maintain a smart schedule, he said, and to take the time to step back and soak in the college experience. He advised other students to do the same.
“Enjoy it,” he said. “Just try to enjoy every minute. Really, that’s all you can do.”
I am a Jaguar is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact Paula Cobler, UHV interim director of marketing and communications, or call 361-570-4350.