By Naomi Hatch
Kyle Jones, a Snowflake High School graduate and state champion golfer, has been selected as Golf Digest’s Golfer of the Week.
Jones is a sophomore at Baylor University and is doing very well on the men’s golf team, recently won his first collegiate victory at the University of Texas San Antonio Oak Hills Invitational.
His achievements were highlighted by Councilman Tom Poscharsky at the April 9 Snowflake Town Council meeting.
Poscharsky also noted that Steve Schneider, golf pro and Snowflake High School golf coach, was voted one of the top coaches Arizona by The Arizona Republic, stating, “You can tell by what’s happening with the students he’s working with.”
Jones began playing golf with his dad at the Snowflake Municipal Golf Course when he was 3, but they had to drive an hour to get there, so his family moved to Snowflake.
“Kyle was one of these boys you sensed was something special,” said Schneider, noting that at age 6, 7 and 8, Jones was already working hard.
“No one has worked harder than Kyle Jones,” said Schneider, who noted that he’d see the boy out there as a fourth and fifth grader after school chipping, even in bad weather and heavy winds. Schneider said that he asked his parents why they had him out there working so hard and they told him that they didn’t push him at all.
“He was so focused on becoming a good golfer at a young age. He was just incredible,” said Schneider.
In an interview for Big 12, Jones noted that growing up, his close friends were from the golf course, which was where he spent his time.
He played on the SHS golf team and gives Coach Schneider a lot of credit for helping improve his golf game. Schneider would hold a fundraiser each summer to help raise money for Jones to play in tournaments.
Schneider recalled that Jones went to China as a junior golfer and went back east to Florida. “I helped him get to tournaments,” he said. “The town supported him tremendously”
“Kyle’s real quick to never forget Snowflake Golf Course,” said Schneider, adding that he was not one of those kids born with a silver spoon in his mouth. “He got there because of hard work and tremendous support from the community.
“He’s not let it go to his head,” said the coach as he recalled when Jones played a college tournament in the Valley. He went over and shook the hand of every guy from Snowflake who showed up, and thanked them for being there.
By Naomi Hatch