“It’s more than a game” – A look at MSU’s top ranked athlete Garrett Leek

young Garrett Leek
Third-grader Garrett Leek golfing with his father Wayne Leek. (Garrett Leek)

At four-years-old his passion for golf was ignited. After being handed his first golf club and making that first swing into the endless array of grassy fields, he fell in love with the freedom and limitless opportunity golf gave him. Growing up in a small rural area just a few miles outside of the big city, sports were always a prominent part of his life. Following the footsteps of his dad who was a basketball coach, Garrett Leek, management sophomore, was never afraid of a little competition, so he tried his hand in basketball. As a two-sport standout in high school, he took pride in being a part of a team, but nothing resonated with him more than golf.

“I’ve been around competition my whole life,” Leek said. “What I like most about golf is that it’s all on me. It’s either I win myself or I lose myself, and that’s the good and bad of it. That’s what makes it so hard, you can’t play bad and win. I enjoy that the most though, because I can push myself and see that improvement.”

His years of experience and constant ability to transition his skills from one sport to another makes him no ordinary golfer. Leek’s individual awards make him a stand-out player as he’s earned the Lone Star Conference golfer of the week twice, in 2019 and 2020, as well as the Lone Star Conference freshman of the year in 2019. His eye is always on the prize, and that dedication to winning continues to pay off as he swept through the All-Lone Star Conference with the sixth-best season scoring average in program history at 72.65.

“I’ve always envisioned myself as being better than the past,” Leek said. “I don’t want to settle on just winning college tournaments, but being recognized for the hard work that I put in is a bonus to what I’m trying to work on which is being as good as I can possibly be. I am not a very satisfactory person; I always think there are ways I can be better, but I am beyond thankful for all the resources I’ve been exposed to and the people I have in my corner.”

Garrett Leek at El Paso, Butterfield golf course after first win in Fall 2020. (Garrett Leek)

Leek says golf is more than just a game. Leek thrives off of the mental challenge that golf presents and through those challenges, he has learned some of the hardest lessons of life.

“Golf has taught me how to be patient and how to be happy with myself no matter what’s going on,” Leek said. “No matter how I feel, I still have to find a way to believe in myself despite the challenges I may have in front of me.”

Despite his success, getting to where he is today hasn’t always been easy. Leek says he’s fallen in love with his journey and he’s learned that he loves his weaknesses as much as his strengths, and that’s what allows him to break barriers.

“It’s a real time-consuming sport,” said Leek. “During the winter I spend three to four hours practicing because sunlight is so important, but during the summer I can spend up to eight hours practicing. It’s a mental sport to the extreme, and I spend time learning how to react and adjust to everything I’m given.”

Leek says the hardest part has always been balancing school and the sport he loves. Unlike most sports, Leek can spend up to eight hours playing up to 36 holes. However, Leek carries the same attitude off the field and doesn’t settle for average. In 2020, he was on the Lone Star Conference’s Honor Roll.

“I’ve learned more and more how to use my time to my benefit,” Leek said. “As a college athlete, I still want to go have fun and hang out with friends, but I try to use my 24 hours wisely. It has its ups and downs, when you have tests all week and you’re gone for tournaments, it gets really hard to balance, but I don’t let that stop me.”

As someone who has dedicated most of his life to one sport, Leek is a true dreamer and the sky won’t limit him. After college, golf won’t stop being the central focus of his life as he plans to be a contender in the Professional Golf Association. What started as one swing turned into a lifelong career and an unbreakable legacy.