Beyond the game: Justin Newby, junior

By: 

Sports Reporter

Justin Newby, junior, faced a tough decision during his freshman year of high school. 

Newby's choice was between golf and soccer. He began playing soccer at the age of five, taking part in games and tournaments for 10 years. 

Newby’s father introduced him to golf when he was 10 years old. A young Newby rode in his father's golf cart, learning by observing the details of the game. 

“I thought my best chance was golf,” Newby said. “I knew the immediate progression I had in golf, I could use in my advantage and take to the next level.”

Newby’s father competed in golf before college. Newby remembers his dad giving him an important piece of advice. 

"Don’t live in the past,” Newby said. “It doesn’t matter what happens next. Just focus on the immediate success.”

Newby does not regret choosing golf. 

Last semester, Newby placed third in the UTEP Intercollegiate in El Paso. He called it his best finish. His rank was significant to him, but what happened during the game made it particularly special.

Coach Shane Howell walked with him to every hole during the tournament. 

“He helped me stay in the present and focus on the shot at hand and not think about where I was placing in the tournament but how I could make the shots," Newby said. "It’s easy to be confident in yourself when you have someone else to be confident in you as well.”

Newby’s admiration of Howell goes both ways. Howell is impressed by Newby’s success on and off the field.

“First year he was learning how to manage and improve in college golf,” Howell said. “He’s a great young man, takes instructions really well, processes the information and goes and works on it. Newby’s a great model of what a student athlete should be.”

Newby’s love for golf goes beyond placing in tournaments. Golf is a way for him to communicate and meet new people. He plans to continue playing golf even if not at a competitive or professional level.

Newby wants his influence to go beyond golf.

“I want to be remembered as someone who people look up to,” Newby said. “As an example of not so much a good golfer or a good student but a good person: someone who was always respectful and put others before himself and loved people well every day.”

Follow Kierra Lewis on Twitter at @Kierra_Arnae