Staying the course: Zack Justice leads Dr. Phillips boys golf

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  • | 2:12 p.m. October 15, 2015
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DR. PHILLIPS  Coach Tony Wilson said Zack Justice is wise beyond his years. 

As a senior on the Dr. Phillips High School golf team, Justice has seen plenty of success individually — but he pushes his teammates to work hard as well. 

“He’s more of an assistant coach than a player,” Wilson said. “He’s done a wonderful job of creating chemistry, bringing the young ones along.”

As a junior, Justice won districts and tied for fifth at the state competition. He hopes to be able to defend his district title this year. He can’t help but dream about a state title, either. 

“What high-schooler doesn’t want to win a state championship?” Justice said. “But I’m just trying to do as good as I can individually.” 

His goals include the rest of his team as well: He wants to see the team go to states again this year. 

Justice’s maturity extends to his plans following graduation. Before his senior season, Justice committed to play golf at the University of Richmond for reasons that go beyond the game of golf itself.

After touring the school, Justice wanted to attend in part because the school has strong academic programs. And as much as Justice would love to play on the PGA Tour someday, he plans to major in finance so he has options for his career.

But the PGA Tour is not completely out of the question for Justice. He will consider it as an option upon his graduation from college. 

Justice works hard to improve his golf game and make it better. He started as a young child, when his father ground down a golf club so Justice could play. He’s trained at Mike Bender Golf Academy. 

But for Justice, golf is mostly about having fun. 

“If I started to over-analyze and not have fun with playing golf, I wouldn’t do it,” Justice said. “I just enjoy it and have fun with it.”

The mental aspect of golf can be challenging, so Justice uses his enjoyment of the game to overcome those moments. His love for the game comes from enjoying the competitions and the experiences he has enjoyed while playing the game. 

One of his favorite golf memories came early. When Justice was 13, he played in a junior golf tournament that he dedicated to his father’s friend who was battling cancer. 

Justice won the tournament. 

“I can’t even explain the feeling,” he said of the victory.

But soon, this season will come to an end, and Justice will head to the world of college golf. Wilson said Justice’s opportunity to sign with the University of Richmond early helped his high school team, because Justice no longer has the pressure of figuring out his college plans.

And Wilson thinks Justice is ready for college golf.

“He’s going to flourish,” Wilson said. “This season has been more of a prep situation for him. It’s not a pressure situation. And he can just go out and have fun.” 

Contact Jennifer Nesslar at [email protected].


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