Photo Credit: Robert Zaleski
By Jenelyn Russo
When Chad Deegan was two years old, his father gave him two golf clubs – a fairway wood and a putter. That was his first start in the sport, and he hasn't looked back.
"I didn't really start playing competitively until I was about eight," says Deegan. "Since then, it's been full force. I've loved it since I started, and it hasn't stopped."
The Servite High School senior and varsity golfer for the Friars appreciates the individual aspect of the sport and that it's on the golfer to decide the outcome.
"I love the individuality about it, how it's all on me on whether or not I win or lose," says the 18-year-old. "And that there's no referees that can decide games. It's all on the player, and I love that about golf."
During his sophomore year, Deegan encountered some struggles with his swing and his overall mentality about the game. Good old-fashioned hard work and perseverance proved to be the needed remedies.
"The only way to get through it, I came to find out, is by hard work, and that's helped me in so many other parts of my life," says Deegan. "There's no substitute for hard work."
Deegan serves as the team captain and uses the role to guide the young players through everything from questions about the college recruiting process to how best to approach each match.
"As a leader, I try to just lead by example for the younger teammates and just give them someone to look up to from a golf perspective," says Deegan. "I really just try to...serve them."
Deegan's college decision will take him to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where the Costa Mesa resident will golf for the Midshipmen followed by serving our country as an officer in the Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.
"When you think of a military academy, like the Naval Academy, a few things come to my mind – dedication, determination, hard work, focus and leadership. Chad possesses all of these things and more," says Servite head golf coach, Dane Jako.
As he embarks on his future, Deegan feels it's been an honor to represent the past, present and future of Servite. His faith has played a large role for him as a student and a competitor.
"I always keep in my mind that... God is always there for me to help guide me in my athletics and every other part of my life," says Deegan.
And just as strong of a guide are Deegan's parents. Their selfless giving sets a good example for their son.
"The way they do whatever they can do to provide for my family, it really means a lot to me," says Deegan. "It gives me an idea of what I want to be as a parent in the future and how I want to live my life."