Chris Butler thought he had played his final game of golf back on Sept. 28, 2011, when he finished his round in the Boys Region 4 Golf Tournament at Danville Country Club.
“I had decided at the beginning of this year that I didn’t think I wanted to play anymore,” Butler said. “I was done with it. I didn’t want to do it. I just wanted to go to college and get an education.”
But then ...
“Then, of course, the weather started to get nice again around March and April, and I wanted to play again. It all came back to me and I decided I did want to go to college and play golf,” Butler said.
Butler’s decision to revisit the game of golf came with an instant college selection as the former Patriot golfer committed to play for the Lindsay Wilson College Blue Raiders men’s golf team.
Despite the quick decision, the choice wasn’t made without forethought.
He actually contacted me after my junior year,” Butler said of Blue Raiders coach Shaun Cozart. “Our region tournament was down there (Columbia) and he was down there watching me and had talked to me then. After some summer tournaments, he told me to keep in touch with him so he could see how I was doing. When I got done with my senior year of golf, he tried to get me to come down there. I wasn’t going to play golf anymore, but I’m glad I changed my mind.”
Butler officially announced his decision before the end of school, signing a letter of commitment in a special ceremony at LCHS.
Butler, the son of Krista and Scott Butler of Hustonville, didn’t just base his college decision solely on golf. The Columbia school provided both the educational and campus atmosphere he was looking for.
“I really liked it there. It’s not too far from home, and it’s not too big or too small. I won’t get lost in big classes. I love it down there,” said Butler, who is leaning toward a major in education with a career goal of becoming a high school history teacher.
Butler made two visits to Lindsay Wilson before making his final decision.
“The first time I went down there and I toured the school,” Butler said. “Then he (Cozart) came and got me and we went to his office and we sat and talked, and he sealed my scholarship up pretty much.”
“I told him that I was gonna take some time to think on it and see what happened, but, about a week later, I texted him and told him that I wanted to go to Lindsay Wilson. He told me to come back down again. I did, and we went to the golf course.”
Butler is joining a program that finished second in both the Mid-South Conference Fall and Spring Tournaments.
“They’re improving,” Butler said of his future teammates. “But I think that a lot of the college teams are getting better. Golf is such a growing sport and everybody is getting good players.”
The fall golf schedule is still months away, but Butler, who averaged a 74 on 18 holes in high school, is now working to improve his game before he steps up to collegiate golf.
“I don’t get to play as much right now because I work at Dix River, but, when I do play I work on my swing a lot,”¿he said. “I want to be playing well when I play for Lindsay Wilson.”
Butler qualifies for State Am
Chris Butler didn’t have the low round in Tuesday’s final qualifying round for the 2012 Kentucky State Amateur Championships at Danville Country Club and he didn’t care.
Butler, a 2012 Lincoln County High School graduate, was beaming anyway, with his round of 74 qualifying him for next week’s State Amateur.
“It was awesome yesterday because I was so close to making the high school state tournament two or three years in a row and never made it. It was great yesterday to make the State Am,” he said. “Yesterday I shot a 74 and the cutoff line was 76 so I’m going to the State Am.”
Butler will be teeing off with all the other qualifiers and those with qualifying exemptions June 19-21 at The Cardinal Club in Simpsonville.