Lake Forest’s Jack Garrity finds control in senior year

SHARE Lake Forest’s Jack Garrity finds control in senior year
BGOWHEEL_HSC_092014_34_49010217_630x420.jpg

LAKE FOREST — It wasn’t as if Jack Garrity was having a bad 2013 season.

During a two-day span in September, the Lake Forest golfer fired a nine-hole score of 38 and a 75 at the 25-team Wheeling Invitational. But he was left off the Scouts’ six-player roster for the regional tournament that October. Something was missing.

“My game was not as good as I would have liked it to be,” Garrity said.

The ambitious Garrity, who has a desire to play college golf, sought out instruction after his junior season. He began to work with Louis Sauer, director of instruction at Northmoor Country Club in Highland Park.

“For him, his game wasn’t sharp. His confidence was wavering a bit,” Sauer said. “It was not a quick fix.”

Sauer knew Garrity had a solid foundation. Like many young players, he could hit the ball a long way off the tee (290-plus-yard drives) but struggled to control shots on a consistent basis.

Over the late fall and winter months, Sauer and Garrity focused on understanding Garrity’s swing learning and how to fix it.

“There was a class and I went with a group of other kids. It was very competitive,” Garrity said. “The biggest thing was getting my club hinged up more. When I came around my body, I was much too flat at the top of my swing.”

Sauer added: “For him, the clubface would get closed [before contact]. He can hit it right or hook it. It’s a tough thing to manage as when you hit it that far, the margin for error is smaller. You have to be much more precise with what you do.”

All winter Garrity hit shot after shot indoors (and outdoors) in hopes of reversing his swing flaw. He needed the validation that only tournament golf could provide. At an MAGT event at Shepherd’s Crook Golf Club in Zion in May, he got that validation.

His 36-hole score of 144 was good for third place (his first-round score of 70 was 1-under par) and gave Garrity a much-needed boost.

“It helped me get some momentum,” Garrity said.

A good junior golf season bled into the high school schedule. At the Twin Orchard Invitational in Long Grove Sept. 6, Garrity carded a team-best 73 (seventh for the tournament). On Saturday, at the Wheeling Invitational at Chevy Chase Country Club, he played his best round of the high school season, firing a 71.

It was good enough for an individual runner-up trophy, sparking the Scouts to a fourth-place finish out of 25 teams.

“He hit fairways and hit greens. He’s nearing total control of his game,” Lake Forest coach Jim Matheson said.

Sauer added: “With his talent level and what he’s capable of, he’s learning how to do things under pressure. He’s worked hard to make the changes.”

Garrity said he’s confident his consistent play will continue into the North Suburban Conference meet Sept. 30 and the October state series.

“We have the sectional at our home course [Oct. 13 at Lake Bluff Golf Club]. I feel like we are going to make a good run,” Garrity said.

The Latest
The area recently made history by gaining its first Asian American City Council member, and this same area should make history by being allowed to have its own high school.
Cecilia Thomas was inside a car when another car approached and someone inside the second car opened fire, striking her in the head, police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.
Grandparent is holding back emotions out of fear of never seeing the boys again.
The man, 32, was leaving his car in the 1300 block of West Roosevelt Road about 4:30 a.m. when he was shot twice in the chest.
The fire began in the basement of a house in the 4000 block of West Potomac Avenue about 12:20 a.m., officials said.