, Utah Golf team September 2,, 2016 in Salt lake City, UT. (Photo / Steve C. Wilson / University of Utah)

In Sublette County, Wyo., there is a no-stoplight town named Pinedale. The small town has a possibility of snowing on any day of the year, but despite the weather conditions and the quiet atmosphere, it is where University of Utah men’s golf player Jordan Costello practiced his game.

Costello was exposed to golf at a young age thanks to his parents. His dad and mom would go on the golf course, and as a three-year-old, Costello would accompany them. He said that his parents would use the pull-carts as they golfed, and as they walked the course he would bear hug the carts as he rode along. Every now and then, he would drop a ball and swing. He loved the sport from a young age, but some hometown factors made it difficult for Costello to be able to play whenever he wanted.

“There was one high school, very few people and one nine-hole golf course,” Costello said. “The course was small, not very well-maintained and relatively easy as well, but also being from Pinedale meant that I only had about five months a year to golf. The other seven months of the year there was snow on the ground.”

Those seven months of white flakes left Costello longing for golf season to come back around.

“It amazes me that he is at where he is now, with what he had to work with growing up,” said Costello’s father, Shane Costello. “The closest 18-hole course to Pinedale was in Jackson Hole, about an hour and a half away. From the time Jordan was about six he would want us to drop him off at the golf course at eight in the morning every day, and he would stay there and play as long he wanted or could.”

The numbers Costello put up in his high school state championships would suggest that he practiced year-round on multiple different courses. He won his individual state championships as a freshman, junior and senior, winning the championship his junior year by 23 strokes and 16 his senior year. He was also a part of two state championship teams his junior and senior season.

“My sophomore year was somewhat of a letdown to me,” Costello said. “I tied for second, but I feel like if the weather would have been better I would have won. The tournament got changed to one day, and I lost, but I used that as motivation for my junior and senior seasons and went out and showed who I was as a golfer.”

After his success in high school, Costello was recruited to come and play golf at Utah. He chose to attend and compete at Utah because of the campus, the city and his teammates. In his freshman season, Costello played in all five tournaments where he posted a 73.6 strokes-per-round average. At the Utah Invitational, Costello had his best finish when he tied for 18th, carding a 6-over (148).

“I’m just so proud of everything he has accomplished,” Shane said. “I wish everyone could see where he came from and how hard he had to work. He would beg me to find some grass for him in December when there was still snow on the ground because he wanted to play. He had to work harder to get more practice out of the time he had because he had less than everyone else. Knowing that and what he came from, I couldn’t be more proud.”

Coming from a 3A division high school in a little town in Wyoming to the Pac-12 has been an adjustment for Costello, but one he feels offers him a chance to succeed on a bigger stage.

“I loved my first year,” Costello said. “It’s completely different from high-school and Wyoming. You go into a tournament and everyone has a chance of winning. It has taught me to focus on me, my game and what I’m doing. I’m looking forward to more years to come.”

s.funk@dailyutahchronicle.com

@scottfunk0

Scott Funk is currently interning as a sports writer for The Daily Utah Chronicle. He completed an internship with Cumulus Media before writing for The Globe at Salt Lake Community College. He also recently completed an internship with ESPN 700.

LEAVE A REPLY!

Please enter your comment!
Reader comments on dailyutahchronicle.com are the opinions of the writer, not the Daily Utah Chronicle or University of Utah Student Media. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned.

Please enter your name here