Rising Stars: Unveiling the Next Generation of American Golf Talent

After gaining popularity after the 19th-century industrial revolution, golf continues to welcome audiences of all ages. By 2019, over 24.3 million individuals played golf in the US, which has continued to increase. 

Previously taking up to four hours for gameplay, golf is making this time shorter by offering only nine holes per event. This ensures the game appeals to enthusiasts, especially those who like the game but don’t want to spend a lot of time playing. 

The concept of speed golf, where the goal is to finish the game as fast as possible, also contributes to the proliferation of the game. Younger generations, ages 6 to 17, continue to flood golf races, drawing the attention of social media sites.

Adapting technologies like GPS-enabled golf carts has only made the game more interesting. Players can now use tracking apps to monitor their performance and get alerts about weather conditions and the availability statuses of equipment. With such technological advancements, we expect more stars to continue rising. 

Collin Morikawa

This 1997-born American professional golfer burst into the scene in 2020 with remarkable performances. He demonstrated unparalleled ball-striking skills during his debut appearance in the PGA Championship, which he won. 

Morikawa started his PGA tour with 22 consecutive made cuts and has amassed six PGA wins. He has performed exceptionally in other contests, including the Race to Dubai, and became the first American to win on the tour. The 2018 World Amateur Gold Ranking listed him as a top golfer for three weeks. 

During the Sentry Tournament of Champions of 2023, he finished second with two strokes behind John Rahm. In February of the same year, he participated in the Farmers Insurance Open and emerged third with three shots behind Max Homa. He crowned the year with a major win during the Zozo Championship in October. He’s the ninth favorites to win the Masters according to the Masters odds so he’ll need to be at his absolute best but you wouldn’t want to rule him out.

Austin Eckroat

Golf fans are keeping a close watch on this Oklahoman who has showcased unmatched skills in his playing. He started in professional skills in 2021 after winning a team title in 2018. He was a four-time All-American while he was at Oklahoma State University. In 2021, Austin participated in the Walker Cup-winning team, contributing to the US’s victory at Seminole. 

His strong finish at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship gave him access to the PGA Tour. During the AT&T Byron Nelson, he finished with one shot behind Jason Day, placing him in second position. Eckroat finished 10th in the US Open after tying the 9-hole of 29. 

Eckroat finished 64th and 48th in the Fortinet Championship and Sanderson Farms Championship, respectively, during the 2022-2023 season. 2024 began well for him with a win over Erik van Rooyen and Min Woo Lee during the Cognizant Classic competition.  

Cameron Young

Winning twice on the Korn Ferry Tour, Cameron Young has made two finishes in the top three positions of major championships. During the 2021-22 season, he was overwhelmingly voted for PGA Tour Rockie of the Year, garnering 94% of the votes.

After finishing 19th in the season, Young got access to the PGA Tour. Later, in September 2022, a US team selected him to participate in the 2022 Presidents Cup, where he won one tournament. Working with Paul Tesori, he finished second during WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play’s first tournament in 2023. 

Unfortunately, he lost to Sam Burns during the finals of the same tournament, and later contested at the Master Tournament, where he finished seventh. Young has made media appearances in Full Swing, a sports documentary that premiered on Netflix in February 2023. 

Max Homa

Born November 19, 1990, Max Homa plays on the PGA Tour. His golf skills date back to his college days, when he won several competitions, including the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship. 

He began his amateur career in 2008, which was followed by a win during the 2009 Ventura County Junior Golf Association. He participated in other contests before starting his professional career in 2013 at the Frys.com Open. 

Winning the Wells Fargo Championship over Joel Dahmen, Homa received $1.422 million and a two-year extension of his PGA Tour Card. He made his second PGA tour win on February 21, 2021, during a playoff over Tony Finau.

2022 was marked with remarkable performances after his successful defense of the Fortinet Championship and four wins in the Presidents Cup. Playing in the 2023 Farmers Insurance Open, he won against Keegan Bradley with a two-shot victory. 

Homa crowned his 2023 performances with a major win during the Nedbank Golf Challenge that happened in November 2023. Early in 2024, he shocked many with his 477-yard drive during The Sentry, the PGA Tour’s longest drive since 2003. 

In summary, America’s golf scene continues to evolve, even to include younger talents. As the game has become more accessible, we expect more people to turn to it.

Leave a Comment