When Jetty Sivongsay first began with SCGA Junior, he was just excited about the chance to play golf and get better. Now a senior in high school, he’s expanding his connection with SCGA Junior to help him play collegiately.
After months of college prep programming, Sivongsay is excited to see where his next step will be in his golf and academic career and to help guide him on this path is college golf counselor Ted Gleason.
Gleason and Sivongsay have been working together to develop a list of schools of interest, communicating with the school’s golf coaches and strategizing about what tournaments to play.
“What draws me to Jetty is that he wants to figure out where he can potentially play and what those options are,” Gleason said. “He really cares, and he wants to find where his place is. He’s willing to put in the time and work.”
Sivongsay’s goal is to play golf in college, but he isn’t ruling out other options as well.
“The reason I want to go to college is to compete and see where collegiate golf can take me,” Sivongsay said. “On top of that, being able to get an education at the same time is great.”
Academically, Sivongsay has expressed interest in majoring in business administration and the PGA Golf Management University Program with the end goal of working in the golf industry in some capacity.
“Working with Coach Ted has definitely prepared me,” Sivongsay said. “He’s given me pointers on what college coaches will be looking for. Academically, he has helped me by working with my counselors for all my UC and Cal State requirements.”
Even though the duo is covering their bases in case college golf doesn’t work out, Gleason has no doubt that Sivongsay has the capability to compete collegiately.
“I’m hopeful that we can keep pressing forward each day to find something that fits for him and where he can imagine himself being,” Gleason said. “I hope that it includes golf, I certainly know that he is more than capable, that’s not a question. There’s just so many other factors. I just hope that we can find as many potential fits as possible where he can play.”
Sivongsay and Gleason began their time together by playing a round of golf to get to know each other and evaluate Sivongsay’s level of play. From there the two crafted a college list made up of the schools that Sivongsay would like to attend and supplemented with schools that Gleason thinks should be considered.
“He’s opened my eyes because before I had really high expectations and he’s brought me down to reality, but not in a bad way,” Sivongsay said. “He’s honest with me and helps me understand what it takes to get to the next level.”
Gleason is working to find the best fit for Sivongsay, considering golf, school and myriad other factors.
“There’s a competitive level for everybody, it’s just a matter of figuring out are the schools where their level of competitiveness matches up also the schools that they really love,” Gleason said. “It’s super important that when you go to a school, if you take golf out of the equation that you still love the school.”
The goal of the SCGA Junior slate of college programming is to help all high schoolers access the resources and knowledge that they need in order to get to college.
“People don’t know what’s available and I’m all about trying to help people understand what is available,” Gleason said. “It’s about helping bring things to people’s attention. Then, maybe they have the knowledge to go down a path that they wouldn’t have otherwise even known about.”
When asked where he would be in his college search without Gleason’s help, Sivongsay immediately scoffs.
“Without Coach Ted I would be totally lost, and I wouldn’t know what the next steps are,” Sivongsay said. “He’s helped me a lot, and my parents, too. He’s eased the stress on us by having someone who can help us with all the college stuff.”
SCGA Junior hosts college prep programming throughout the year, which includes campus tours, information sessions with college counselors and college golf summits.