If anyone were to tell you that you can’t achieve your dreams, they’re wrong. You can achieve anything that you set your mind to, whether it be backpacking across the country, becoming the finest chef in New York City, or becoming a professional golfer; a dream freshman Justin Shluker plans to pursue.
At age 7, Shluker’s father got him into playing golf. He played every year growing up and when he reached high school he joined the golf team at Park City High School in Park City, Utah. The talent came naturally, but he worked even harder to become better and excel every year.
His junior and senior years of high school, Shluker and his team went to the State Championship and won both years. At the two-day State Championship his junior year it was raining the whole first day and snowed the second day. On the second day it was between 34 and 40 degrees and it snowed for the entire front nine. He had to wear four layers of clothing and winter ski gloves with warmers inside of them just to keep warm during the tournament.
“The hardest obstacle was how cold it was and trying not to get too frustrated while maintaining my job in the game,” said Shluker.
In the back nine, when the snow let up and the weather got nicer, Shluker shot five under to win the tournament. It is proven that Shluker is dedicated to golf as it is one of the main components of his life.
Aside from his high school team, Shluker has competed in many tournaments and continues to do so with the Sonoma State golf team.
“I’m really glad Justin decided to become a Seawolf because several schools wanted his talents,” said teammate Blake Basham. “He is a really good golfer and has proven it at practice and in tournaments.”
Shluker was recruited by many different schools that offered good opportunities, but he chose Sonoma State because of the area and the golf team seemed to be the best fit for him.
As a part of the team, Shluker has grown and matured with the help of his coaches, Val Verhunce and Gary Fain. At his second collegiate tournament with the Seawolves, he earned sixth place out of 91 participants at the Coyote Classic held by Cal State San Bernardino. He was able to help his team into a tie for seventh place.
“Justin is a really good kid. He works hard at his game and has a maturity on the golf course that is rare of his age. He has a very solid and aggressive styled game,” said teammate Matt Medeiros.
With the achievements that Shluker and his team have already had this season, he expects the very best of himself and his team. The top five head to Nationals in a few weeks, and Shluker wants to have the privilege to be a part of that team and help the Seawolves win Nationals.
Shluker is very proud to be a part of the Sonoma State golf team.
“It’s fun to be around them. They’re kind of like a family, everyone’s got each other’s back,” said Shluker. “You’re competing against them, but you want them to do well.”
Shluker plans to achieve more golf experience to make it to the next level and get better and better at his game with the Sonoma State golf team. His dream is to pursue golf as a professional career and he believes that he will make it there.
“A lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifices will get me to the professional level. I want to improve on everything one step at a time,” said Shluker.