WATCH | Lake Hamilton senior golfer, Brode Horton, signs with Henderson State University

Lake Hamilton senior golfer Brode Horton, center, is pictured with family and friends at Wednesday's signing day at Wolf Arena. (Submitted photo)
Lake Hamilton senior golfer Brode Horton, center, is pictured with family and friends at Wednesday's signing day at Wolf Arena. (Submitted photo)

PEARCY -- Brode Horton, a senior golfer at Lake Hamilton High School, signed his letter of intent Wednesday to continue playing golf this fall at Henderson State University.

Horton, who plans to go into sports management, said he is "stoked" about being a Reddie.

"At first I didn't really think that I was going to be able to play on a high collegiate level like Henderson," he said. "I thought I would just walk on at like a (Division III), maybe (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) school, but then my game took off and I was able to gain the spot and I'm really excited."

Lake Hamilton head golf coach Brandi Higginbotham said Horton just kind of "magically showed up" his sophomore year and became one of the team's better players. She said his background in baseball helped prepare him for success on the links.

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"He had hit a lot of baseballs, so it came pretty naturally to him," she said. "... He just had a great natural ability already, especially with his baseball background."

Horton began to focus on his game seriously during his junior season. Higginbotham said that as soon as his junior season was over, he would be at the golf course even when it was very cold out.

"I was shocked that, you know, he was out there spending a lot of time. But he made tons of gains last summer, went to a lot of tournaments and really kind of pulled Jack (Higginbotham) along with him, got him out there a little bit more," she said.

She said the thing that sticks out to her about Horton is that he is very smart.

"He figures out a lot of things on the golf course," she said. "There's lots of little intricacies to the game that he figures out. He broke into the 70s earlier in the summer and he's shooting down in the low 70s now, and I know a lot of schools took interest in him very quickly when he started really showing that he could compete with some of the guys that were ... you know, he's competing with (Lakeside High School senior) Will Gordon, who's going to to play at the University of Arkansas. And Brode's shooting right there with them.

"So schools started really taking notice of him and he got to play in a very big tournament, the Junior PGA Championship that was hosted at the (Hot Springs Country Club) this summer, which is a really, really big deal."

He reaped most of his rewards this year, she noted, as he ended up getting one of two qualifying spots at the state tournament in Alma. He was also the fourth individual finisher, which, she noted was really a big deal.

"He finished this year as All-Conference and All-State, and it's been awhile since we've had a boy do that also," she said.

Horton said, on going to Henderson, that he was really impressed with the coaching staff and the facilities on campus.

"Coach (Colton) Cowan's really invested in his players. And the training facilities are absolutely (amazing). They're above and beyond there. They put a lot of money into it," he said.

He said his time at Lake Hamilton has prepared him more than he can imagine and that he believes it will pay off at the next level.

"I mean playing here, it's not a big school with a really good golf team, like Lakeside, but I learned a lot from everybody, and having a... my family's just really supportive of everything I do and that's always good."

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