CANTON — As Creekview has emerged as one of the top golf programs in the state in recent years, Jack Vajda has been a constant at the top of the lineup.
Vajda entered his senior season with a pair of individual county championships, an individual area championship and an individual state championship.
From a team perspective, he already had two county championships and two state runner-up finishes.
“I was just looking to repeat,” said Vajda, the 2019 Cherokee Tribune Boys Golfer of the Year. “I had a good junior year winning county, state and area. I just wanted to get back at that and improve. Our team was stronger this year. We were hoping to win state. We gave it a run at our home course.”
Though Vajda could not match his title haul from his junior season, he helped Creekview maintain its status.
He shot a 2-over par 74 at the county championship to help the Grizzlies defend that title. He may have played his best round at the area championship, where he was three shots clear of the field with a 4-under 68, and he carded a 1-over 145 at the state championship to finish ninth and help the Grizzlies finish second again in Class AAAAAA.
“It was awesome this year,” Vajda said. “We had a couple underclassmen show up and play well with a couple low scores for us. It was awesome for me and some seniors having them push us and be our backup all year if we had a bad round. I think we have a bright future.”
Vajda also has his own bright future in the sport as he prepares to play collegiately at Augusta University.
His competition will take a jump as he moves up the ranks, but Vajda said he feels ready to play at that level.
“I feel prepared,” he said. “I play with most of the kids in high school and individual tournaments. I know the talent level they have. I’ve seen how they play. For me, it’s just more practice and seeing how I do against the college kids in tournaments this summer.”
This summer, Vajda will play in some larger tournaments, but he is more focused on preparing for his college career.
Improving his putting was his biggest goal for his senior season, but Vajda has already found new elements of his game to focus on.
“My whole career, my putting hasn’t been the best,” he said. “I’m always working to improve that to get to a place where I can compete. I feel like I did this year. My tee shots let me down a little at times this year, but I’ll keep working on that.”
For the mental part of the game, Vajda said he keeps it simple.
He said picking the right club and shot is always his first step, but after that he relies on the feel.
“I don’t think about much,” he said. “When I step up, all I’m thinking about is having the right club. When I take my swing back, there’s nothing on my mind. I’m just focused on the target.”
Vajda has gotten to this point practicing a few hours a day six days a week.
He said he only expects that number to go up as his career progresses, but he has no problem with that.
“I love it every single day,” he said. “There’s nothing stopping me from coming up and practicing. It’s probably the best part of my day.”