John Augenstein is preparing for the next step in his golf career.
The former Owensboro Catholic standout, who won the KHSAA individual state championship as a junior in 2014, is ready to begin his freshman campaign at Vanderbilt University — but first, a competition-filled summer awaits.
“It’s been going pretty well,” Augenstein said. “I had a good spring. This summer, I’m playing only amateur golf tournaments, which is obviously a lot different than junior golf. Now, whoever wants to play and whoever is invited can play. It’s been a little bit of a transition, but for the better, for sure.”
Earlier this month, Augenstein shot a 1-under-par 69 to win the Southern Amateur qualifier on June 7 in Lexington, earning a spot in next month’s tournament. He also competed in an Eastern Amateur qualifier, finishing in the top third.
This past weekend, Augenstein played in the Greystone Invitational in Birmingham, Ala., where he finished 10 over and in a tie for 36th out of 74 golfers after four days of action.
Though it’s been an adjustment at times, Augenstein admitted, he’s confident that playing better competition will only help him improve.
“It’s different playing amateur golf, for sure,” he said. “It’s a different field. I’m playing people of all different ages and playing against a lot of college kids, which is preparing me more for college. I have seen some progression in my game throughout the summer.”
And the golf slate doesn’t slow down anytime soon for the 18-year-old.
On July 8-11, Augenstein will be in Hilton Head, S.C., for The Players Amateur Championship. Then he’s off to Myrtle Beach, S.C., for the Southern Amateur on July 13-16. Augenstein will also compete in a USGA amateur qualifying event on July 19 in Richmond. If he qualifies, he’ll play in the U.S. Amateur Championship the following month in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
It’s a whirlwind of golf, Augenstein said, but it’s all in the effort to get better and help the Commodores this upcoming year.
College move-in day is slated for Aug. 17, and not longer after that, the season begins.
“From what I’ve heard, it’s pretty hectic the first three or four weeks,” Augenstein said. “You move in, you have qualifying that first week you’re there, and from that point on, you’re playing in tournaments. I’m definitely excited for it.”
Augenstein joins a team that reached the NCAA Elite Eight this past season and returns First-team All-American Matthias Schwab, as well as Freshman All-Americans Will Gordon and Patrick Martin.
With such talented teammates, Augenstein said he’s happy to slide in wherever he’s needed.
“I want to contribute anyway I possibly can,” he said. “I think we’ll definitely be a really good program. We should be in the top five all year. I’m just trying to help however I can. Hopefully that’s filling in the fourth or fifth spot, but I’ll do whatever the coaches need.”