A-K Valley Senior Spotlight: Freeport’s Jayden Diehl

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Monday, October 23, 2023 | 10:42 AM


Freeport’s Jayden Diehl is extremely dedicated to the game of golf.

Whether he’s playing for the Yellowjackets, competing in summer tournaments, going to a teaching pro to tweak his game, going to simulators once a week in the winter or staying at courses after matches to practice chipping and putting, Diehl is all-in on golf.

“I’ll go to the course myself sometimes to play, and I’ll see Jayden there,” said Freeport coach Joe Sprumont. “It seems like he’s always self-assessing, self-evaluating. He’s checked all the boxes as far as maximizing his game.”

His hard work paid off this year as he finished tied for first, shooting a 78, in the WPIAL Section 1-2A qualifier with teammate Stephen Evans and Knoch’s Mason Phillips.

“I was coming off the 18th hole knowing I did well. Asking around, I found everyone else shot like 79, 80, 83,” Diehl said. “It was amazing to finish first with Stephen.”

Said Sprumont: “I know they both put a lot of time into the game and put in the work. It was nice to see their work pay off and for them to be rewarded.”

Jayden shot an 85 in the first round of Class 2A WPIAL tournament, missing the cut by just one stroke.

“I felt confident going in, especially after the first nine,” said Jayden. “I just dropped off the board on the back nine. I was following a plan I set going in, just didn’t work out in the end.”

As the golf season wrapped up, Diehl took a few minutes for a Senior Spotlight Q-and-A session:

What summer tournaments have you played in, and how have you fared?

I play in the Islay’s Tournaments. I normally play three or four to get myself prepared for the season. I’m not really worried about how or where I finish.

What’s the best course you ever played?

Oakmont Country Club. One of the best courses I’ve ever seen.

The toughest?

Fox Chapel Country Club. When I played there, it was cold and rainy. They also have a tough layout.

What is one course, anywhere in the world, you would like to play?

Pebble Beach. It’s my dream to play there.

Any advice for the average weekend golfer trying to break 100?

Work on your short game. I know that my short game could have been so much better, even with me practicing all the time.

How far can you drive the ball?

I average about 310 yards. This year, I put it on the green at the 10th at Buffalo Golf Course, which is about 340, 350 yards. I even hit the ball 360 yards on the par-5 sixth at that course.

Do you have a favorite club in your bag?

My 8-iron. I find it to be that perfect length that helps me gauge how far I’m hitting the ball.

Any superstitions you have on the course?

I will not walk through or between tee markers. One time I walked in between a tee marker, and I shanked my shot. I’ve avoided walking through them ever since.

Any college plans?

I’m trying to attend a four-year university. Looking into a bunch of golf schools. Thought about going to Community College of Beaver County because they have a flight program and work with Geneva, so I could also play on Geneva’s team.

You would like to be a pilot?

Yeah, I haven’t found anything else that really interests me.

Have you flown a plane before?

I’ve done one test flight. I went to a flight school meeting at CCBC and I met some of the guys from High Flight Academy, and they told me they would allow me to do a demonstration flight. The instructor let me take off and let me fly around. He took over on landing, which is the hardest part.

What is one piece of advice you would want to leave your teammates before you graduate?

Work hard. Work hard and earn their scores instead of getting lucky. I want to see them down at the course working on their game.

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