Trevor Garus remembers his father making him tag along to the golf course.
The Capital High junior was in seventh grade and his father is Boise State head volleyball coach Shawn Garus.
“He’d drag me to the golf course. I absolutely hated going,” Trevor recalled.
Now you can’t keep Trevor Garus off the golf course. And it appears he will be spending much time beyond high school golfing, too. Two weeks ago he gave an oral commitment to UCLA.
For the second season in a row — golf for 5A and 4A teams used to be in the spring until moved to the fall beginning in mid August — Garus captured the 5A District III Tournament championship. He shot 7 under 63 at Quail Hollow Golf Course last week, winning by four shots over his good friend, Wheaton Ennis of Eagle.
Garus finished -3 on the final three holes, going eagle, birdie, par to assure Capital of qualifying for state by a stroke. State is Friday and Saturday at Teton Lakes Golf Course in Rexburg.
It’s been a four-month redemption crusade for Garus. After he shot 65 at Falcon Crest Golf Course in miserable conditions in mid May to win the district title, Garus expected to contend for a state title the following week at Red Hawk Golf Course in Nampa.
He blew up at state, shooting 10 over par and finishing nine strokes behind medalist Reid Piron, then a Boise freshman.
“Redemption? 100 percent,” Garus said. “I went out trying to win the tournament right away instead of playing my game and being patient. I needed to stay in the present.”
That’s been his mantra since playing in a summer tournament every weekend since the end of his sophomore year until the start of his junior year.
Included were stops at Torrey Pines’ famous South Course in La Jolla, California, where the U.S. Open has been played and at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Chicago.
“Cog Hill is the toughest course I’ve ever played,” Garus said.
At Torrey Pines, where the IMG Junior World championship was held, Garus led after the first round after shooting a 5 under 67. He shot 76 the next day and struggled to an 81 in the third round and missed the cut by a stroke.
“I had a bad fever and migraines,” Garus said. “I lost 20 pounds that week.”
Ennis, also a junior who has given Texas A&M an oral commitment, tied for 26th with rounds of 75, 70, 75, 74.
The 2021 state champ as a freshman, Ennis spent second semester last year playing golf in Arizona. He returned for the start of his junior year at Eagle.
Ennis, Piron and Boise’s Will Strong are in the mix with Garus for the state title.
Golf has had Garus’ full attention the last four years. Prior to that Garus thought baseball was his future.
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“It’s funny, Wheaton and I played against each other in baseball all the time,” Garus said. “Now it’s just golf for both of us.”
Garus’ opening round 67 at Torrey Pines gained him incredible exposure to college coaches. He got an eagle on the sixth hole and recalls seeing several coaches in the vicinity.
Garus had scheduled visits to Notre Dame and Missouri when he took a visit to UCLA two weeks ago.
He returned home impressed with the educational opportunities, the coaches and facilities at UCLA. The Bruins play on the best courses in the area including the Los Angeles Country Club, where the 2023 U.S. Open will be held.
“They were super generous with their (scholarship) offer,” Garus said. “I’m going to be able to play on U.S. Open-quality courses. That will be beneficial and improve my game.”
Garus carries a weighted 4.1 grade-point average and is in contention for salutatorian and valedictorian honors. He wants to attain a college education although his long-term dream is being a professional golfer.
“I take the game seriously and I think I can get there (be a professional),” Garus said.
Capital coach Matt Fraley was asked what are the strengths of Garus’ game.
“Every part of his game is a strength,” Fraley said. “He hits the ball a mile off the tee. His wedges are on point. His mid irons are good. Even his putting game is on point. I don’t see a weakness.”
Garus averages 320 yards with his driver. But he thinks the best part of his game is on the putting green and it’s not necessarily anything physical.
“I have a belief and confidence from reading greens,” Garus said. “I think that puts me ahead of the field.”
His results in the short six-week fall season (the spring was a 10-week season) shows he’s taken his game to another level. He shot 63 three times and 65 twice. He won five of six matches/tournaments. His worst round was a 74 at Purple Sage Golf Course where Ennis shot 67.
So when Garus tied for seventh at state last spring he was more than disappointed. It triggered a desire to make amends this fall.
“I think he gets in his head a little bit,” Fraley said. “He has the game to play with the best and he knows it. He’s his own worst enemy sometimes.”
Garus agrees. His plan this weekend is simple — take things one hole at a time.
Capital will play a practice round Thursday in Rexburg.
“I’m glad I get to experience state with my team,” Garus said. “If I try to perform and force shots, it’s not the recipe for success. I’ve been learning the lesson the hard way. I need to play loose and not try to force things and let it happen.”