Matt Motes is a golfer in a tennis world. The Augusta Christian senior didn't grow up living next to a golf course like so many other Columbia County golfers did.
Instead, there was a tennis court nearby. That's where his brother, Chris, spent his time. He later moved on to play tennis at the University of Georgia. That's just the way things were done at the Motes household.
"Our whole family is a tennis family," he said. "I just didn't really like it as much as other sports."
Instead, Matt Motes followed his neighborhood friends to the golf course as a child. He spent his time at Bell Meade in Thomson or at Bartram Trail. His round of 67 at the Grovetown course is one of the best at the high school level.
The choice to swing a pitching wedge instead of a tennis racket paid off last weekend. On Friday, Motes signed a national letter of intent to play golf at Armstrong Atlantic.
"I like the idea of a one-man team better," he said. "You take full responsibility for all your actions."
Motes will be the first from his family to play golf at the college level. According to the coaching staff, he'll be the first from Augusta Christian, too.
The Lions rode Motes' shoulders to a second-place finish at the South Carolina Independent Schools Association Class AAA state golf tournament two years ago. Last year the team took sixth, and Motes finished third overall.
However, it wasn't the postseason play that helped him land a spot on a college roster. It was the help of a friend.
"One of my buddies, Parker Gordon, signed with (Armstrong Atlantic) last year," Motes said. "I sent out a bunch of letters to coaches, and the Armstrong Atlantic coach asked Parker about me."
Parker, who played for Greenbrier before moving on to the college ranks, made his recommendation clear.
"The coach called me and we set up a visit after that," Motes said.
The newest member of the Armstrong Atlantic golf team said he and Gordon played fairly even when they hit the links together on the Augusta Area Junior Golf Tour.
"I'm just glad I'll keep playing golf," he said. "I've always dreamed of playing in college."
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