Kimberley golfer Jared du Toit has begun the next step of his golfing career, by committing to the University of Idaho, where he will compete in the NCAA and further his education.
Du Toit, 17, had many offers from other institutions such as South Dakota State, Colorado State, University of Minnesota, Simon Fraser University, but a few factors tipped the scales in Idaho’s favour.
“The coach was a huge factor for me in me picking that school,” said du Toit. All the guys on the team and I had very similar interests. I like the campus, I like the area, it’s fairly close to home and the education’s good, too.
“I’m happy it’s all over, it was pretty stressful. I went on five different visits to different schools all over the country and the States, bunched them all together and figured Idaho was the best fit for me.”
Du Toit is still debating what to take after he graduates high school. He’s been accepted into the civil engineering program, but he’s also looking at a business program.
He’ll be juggling his studies with golf, where he will be competing in the Big Sky conference of the NCAA. He has a seven week golf schedule in the fall before a winter break, followed by six to eight weeks in the spring.
“You go down south a little bit, too, and keep your game at tip top shape, but competitive-wise, there are no tournaments in the winter,” said du Toit.
It’s been a big year for the young golfer. He recently returned from Phoneix, AZ, where he was competing in the Maple Leaf Junior Tour U18 Nationals, where he finished second in his age category.
He also competed in the Calloway Junior World Golf Championships in San Diego last July, where he finished 34th in a field of 200 golfers.
That event was the one that kicked off interest from the NCAA schools, du Toit added.
“I sent out a bunch of letters to schools I was interested in, and Idaho was one of them, but none of them really gave me a serious look until that tournament,” du Toit said.
As for now, he’ll keep his swing in shape by hitting balls into a net at a friend’s shed, which also has a little putting green. He’ll also take a few trips to Calgary, which has an indoor driving range facility for him to let loose with his drivers and irons.
He has two more tournaments over the winter, as he he’ll head back to Arizona for some golf in Scottsdale at the end of December, before heading over to San Diego for a junior amateur tournament in January.