Scott Stevens wants to get away.
So the talented Chattanooga Christian junior golfer committed to begin his college career at South Carolina.
"It was a pretty long process trying to figure out where I wanted to go and the best place for me," Stevens said. "Recruiting started when I was in eighth grade playing in the Tennessee Junior Am.
"Over this last summer, it got a lot more serious and I had to start deciding, because kids are committing so early in golf."
Stevens eliminated the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga midway through the process because he wanted to explore life outside the Scenic City.
So Stevens whittled his final list to Lipscomb, Tennessee and South Carolina.
"That's the place where my game will get a lot better," Stevens said. "I like the guys there, and the coaches are great. It's a good school."
Stevens tied for third in the Class A-AA state tournament in October. He's had top-10 finishes in the last two TGA Junior Amateurs and was runner-up in an AJGA event at TPC Southwind.
"The sky is the limit for him," said Bruce Etter, Stevens' swing coach. "When you compare his numbers on TrackMan, he beats the pro average for ball speed and distance.
"It was a very tough decision for Scott because he had a lot of people wanting him."
Stevens will have the winter to work with Etter and then a full summer of competitive amateur golf before playing for the Chargers in the next high school season.
"I can relax and play golf and not worry about all the [college] coaches," Stevens said. "I can focus on my game."
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...