Jacey Patton says that ever since she was a little girl, she has had the determination and drive to be the best that she could be.
“I have always been very driven to succeed,” said Patton, who is on the Texas Wesleyan women’s golf team. “That drive seems to carry through everything I do. It motivates me on the golf course and in the classroom. While I love playing golf, I know that my success after college is going to come from doing well in my studies now and when I attend grad school.”
Wesleyan head women’s golf coach Kevin Millikan said that Patton, a sophomore kinesiology major from Fort Worth, brings a great deal of enthusiasm to practices and competitions and epitomizes the concept of the student-athlete.
“She excels in academics as well as athletics, and is involved in a lot of other activities, both on and off campus,” he said. “I consider her to be an excellent role model for the type of athletes we are looking for at Texas Wesleyan.”
But golf was not her first love. Patton started dancing at age two and continued for 10 years. She performed her first solo dance routine competitively at the age of five and at the age of seven was the youngest member accepted into the senior competitive dance company at her studio.
Patton said that attending a summer camp at the First Tee of Fort Worth really got her interested in golf.
“I fell in love with golf immediately,” she said. “We were doing a putting exercise and coach Kevin Long complimented me on my ability to read a putt. That little bit of encouragement really meant a lot to me. I enrolled in classes at The First Tee of Fort Worth that summer.”
She won a scholarship from The Ben Hogan Foundation (BHF). The Foundation scholarship was offered through The First Tee of Fort Worth in partnership with Texas Wesleyan University and provides tuition, fees and books for four years. As a scholarship recipient, Patton has been assigned a mentor that follows her throughout her time at Wesleyan.
Patton also said that the First Tee inspired her to pursue golf and to give back.
“I had so many amazing opportunities through the program that I want to be able to mentor and inspire current and future members of The First Tee,” she said.
Friends say that Patton also works hard off the course, and that she is kind, humble and caring.
“Jacey works hard in her studies and loves what she has planned for her future,” said junior education major and close friend Nicole Gillihan. “She is a great reflection of the Lord, and she shines light to those around her.”
At the University of Houston-Victoria’s Claud Jacobs Intercollegiate at The Club at Colony Creek, in February, Patton finished fifth, leading the Lady Rams with a score of 226.
Patton gives her all and she gives credit to God and her family for support.
“I know that all my abilities and talents are gifts from God,” she said. “My hope is that ultimately I use them in a way that points to Christ. My mom and my grandparents are my biggest cheerleaders. Whether it was dance competitions, golf tournaments, piano recitals, or academic awards, they have always been there.”