Old Saybrook's Ayers (Shoreline champ) is most definitely at home on the golf course
Jack Ayers spends a lot of time at his second home, especially in the summer time.
Let's just say he lives at the golf course.
"He practices all the time," Old Saybrook High School coach Tim Arsenault said. "He's a junior member at Clinton Country Club. His family has a membership at Great Neck Country Club now, and he works (at Fox Hopyard Golf Club). He's at one those three places playing all the time."
Diligent practice habits helped turned a decent high school golfer into the top golfer in the Shoreline Conference and a contender on the state level.
Ayers finished his career at Old Saybrook in style, earning All-Shoreline and all-state honors for the third straight season and leading the Rams to their most successful season since 1974. They also captured their first outright conference championship in 38 years and went undefeated during the regular season.
Ayers is The Day's All-Area Golfer of the Year for the second straight season.
He's also earned the respect of his fellow golfers and other coaches who marvel at his calm and cool manner and command of his game on the golf course.
"Of all the kids we've ever had and all the kids I've seen play in the Shoreline, he stays within his own game better than anyone I've ever seen," Arsenault said. "He knows his game very well and he's pretty confident in what he's doing and he's not cocky."
Take the Shoreline Conference tournament early last month at Fox Hopyard in East Haddam.
Ayers, the favorite to repeat as individual champion, hit a speed bump, four-putting on the eighth hole for a double-bogey. He shook it off to finish with a 3-over 74 and win medalist honors.
"I've definitely gotten better on just playing one shot at a time," Ayers said.
Friend and Shoreline competitor Matti Fuller of Old Lyme can attest to that fact. Fuller has served as caddie for Ayers on the summer circuit.
"He's unbelievable," Fuller said. "If things go bad, he can always turn it around. He four-putts and then he comes back and he'll make a birdie. You always know he's going to be solid in tournaments. Nothing really gets to his head.
"When you watch him, on the first fives holes he doesn't do anything great, then, all of a sudden he'll make a charge."
Ayers made a charge his entire senior season while playing at No. 1 on an undefeated Old Saybrook team. He posted the lowest differential in the Shoreline at 2.07.
"I've been very consistent in my playing this year," Ayers said.
He also played some of his best golf in big tournaments.
At the Division IV state tournament at Fairview Farms in Harwinton on June 5, he fired a 75 to tie for third overall. The Rams placed second. At the New England Interscholastic tournament in Keene, N.H., he fired a 74, tying for 17th.
He also excelled in the classroom, achieving honor roll status.
Ayers will continue his education and golf career this fall at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain. He'll receive a partial scholarship.
Arsenault says Ayers is only beginning to tap his potential. He's looking forward to seeing what Ayers can do on the collegiate level.
"He'll do well there, if they put some meat on him" Arsenault said. "They're going to put him in the weight room. He'll be able to hit the ball farther. He could be really good.
"And he's a good kid."