By Lauren Fender
Big 12 Campus Correspondent
Kyle Jones and his younger brother Justin were racing their dirt bikes around a corner when Justin cut a turn too tight and clipped Kyle’s back wheel, causing his older brother to be thrown from the bike. Fortunately for Kyle and the Baylor Bears, he was not hurt during the accident.
Now a sophomore at Baylor University, Kyle Jones is a crucial contributor to the men’s golf team.
“He is not a flashy player,” head coach Greg Priest said. “He doesn’t have a lot of length. He is just a guy that keeps it in play, hits it straight and knows his game. He is a guy you can count on.”
However, off the course he may still be mistaken for an avid dirt biker or baseball fanatic.
“When I first met [teammate] Mikkel [Bjerch-Andresen], he actually thought I was like a biker, rocker guy.” Jones said.
Though golf is now Jones’ main focus, he still enjoys the common ground biking and baseball provide for him and his 16-year-old brother.
“Growing up, we have gotten a lot closer and now it’s hard being away because besides my friends, he is really the only person I talk to,” Jones said.
In Jones’ hometown of Snowflake, Ariz., population 5,587, everyone begins to feel like family.
“When I was three, the golf course my dad always went to play was in Snowflake, which was an hour away from where we lived at the time, so he moved us up there.” Jones said.
Little did Jones’ father know that in a few short years, that golf course would be worth a lot more than the few moving boxes it took to get there. Jones spent most of his childhood on that course, where his mother also worked.
“That was kind of like my babysitting place,” Jones said. “Everyone knew me, so they would just watch me.”
Spending so much time on the course, the patrons became like family to Jones.
“All my close friends and all the older people I was close to were all from the golf course,” Jones said. “Those were the people I was always around, so they where like my second family.”
However they were not his only support system within the town. Jones’ high school golf coach also played a key role in advancing his golf game.
“Every summer growing up my high school coach would put on a fundraiser to help raise money, so I could travel and play in the tournaments I wanted,” Jones said.
Now that Jones has settled into college and has started having some major success with his first collegiate victory just a few weeks ago at the UTSA Oak Hills Invitational, he wants to give back to the community that invested so much into his dreams.
“I haven’t really run it by him yet,” Jones said, “but I was going to see if we could do something to get a fundraiser together this summer to help raise money so junior golfers can actually do what I did. They can go travel, have fun and play.”
Jones’ philanthropic spirit doesn’t stop there.
“Throughout my life there has always been one thing that has kind of hit my heart—it’s children’s hospitals,” Jones said. “I want to try and put on a fundraiser for that even if it helps just a little bit. If we could get them something that they could play with or that they could use just to make their lives a little happier.”
Coach Priest isn’t surprised about Jones’ desire to do good for others.
“He is just a really good guy,” Priest said. “He is just a quality character. I think that is the biggest thing for him. You enjoy being around him and you know you can trust him.”
As Jones looks to the future he one day hopes to make it on the PGA tour, where he can
make an even larger impact on the lives of these children.
“Goal number one is to turn pro and to see where that goes,” Jones said. “Hopefully that goes somewhere, because that is something I have wanted since I started playing golf competitively.”
Jones is well on his way to reaching that goal, and with the support of his family and his hometown, soon Rickie Fowler may not be the only dirt biker on the PGA Tour.