When did Avery Blake think she could play? Like, really play?
"It was a long time ago," The Woodlands incoming senior said. "I started doing tournaments when I was like four-years old. Not soon after that I was catching up with my dad. I figured I was pretty good at that time."
Since then, Blake has been honing her game and playing national tournaments on the AJGA circuit for years, while helping lead her Highlander team state. She was on the team that went to state as a freshman and advanced to the Regional Tournament as a sophomore. COVID-19 cancelled the 2020 season.
"Entering the high school season, I want to finish in the Top 5 individually in of all our tournaments and get back to state this year," she said. "I'm really not afraid of hard work and competition and my ultimate goal is to play on the LPGA Tour."
Golf can be a frustrating game. You never really accomplish perfection, you just battle yourself and the course. Blake has been around the globe playing the sport she loves, but she breaks down her game piece by piece.
"Last year, I put a lot of work in on the range changing my swing," she said. "Now, I'm working with a mental coach to work my way around the course. I'm trying to shoot for low scores and that takes practice. You just play more on the course and play situational shots. You have to learn how to keep calm under pressure."
The pressure will be on in September, COVID 19-willing, as Avery's push to her dream school rounds the home stretch.
"Recruiting has been tough with the virus and college coaches haven't been able to see anyone play," Blake, who holds the course record of 66 at the Texas Rangers Golf Club, said. "They can come out in September, so I've been preparing for that. I've been talking with TCU and Texas State a lot. I really like them. My dream school for the longest time has been Texas A&M and they are also recruiting me. So, we will see."
It's no surprise that her favorite golfers are Tiger Woods and The Woodlands alum Stacy Lewis, who has won a pair of LPGA Majors, but the senior has a life outside of the sport. Kind of.
"I used to run for The Woodlands cross country team and I'm really into working out," she said. "I can also draw a little bit and play the guitar. It's been awhile. I need to pick it back up."
It's tough to find time while playing such a specialized sport that is so competitive, worldwide. For now, she's grinding away on the AJGA circuit in the Texas heat chasing her dream.
"I love golf because my success is all on me," she said. "I control my own destiny."