Home GOLF Tigers’ Brady White relaxes with golf

Tigers’ Brady White relaxes with golf

Brady White can still replay the moment when he was granted a sixth year of eligibility.

It was May and the Memphis quarterback was at Vista Valencia Golf Course in California where he just hit a shot on the green at No. 7. As he drove up to his ball, White got a text from coach Mike Norvell. .

The news, at least on this particular day, was better than a hole-in-one. 

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“I remember telling my Dad and he was just congratulatory. It was just a happy feeling,” said White, who missed most of the 2016 season and all of 2017 at Arizona State with a foot injury

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The only thing White said he couldn’t recall was how he finished the round. But it was fitting White got the news at a place that brings him peace.

“That kept me in good spirits,” said White. “Anytime I’m on a golf course, I’m already in a good attitude or mindset.”

How Brady White got into golf

Golf almost never became White’s escape. He took lessons with his brother, Brevin, when they were younger but White said he hated golf.

Football became his passion with his father serving as one of his early coaches. But when White enrolled at Arizona State, he discovered golf again during his freshman year.

By his sophomore year, golf became another mental challenge for him and White embraced it.

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Brady White throws the ball during a drill as the Memphis Tigers Football team holds their first fall practice at the Billy J. Murphy Athletic Complex on Friday, Aug 2, 2019.  (Photo: Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal)

“When I’m out there, I’m not thinking about football or anything unless I’m with a teammate or having side chatter,” White said. “It’s a different dynamic than football because you have a team and 11 guys on offense. Golf is just you so it’s very much a mental game obviously but it’s really nice and quiet out on the course.”

White’s father, Deron, said football never comes up when he is on the golf course  with his sons. Instead, they find other challenges and it’s all about a little white ball.

“We’ll do skins or closest to the pin,” Deron White explained. “There’s always a little action going on and quite a bit of pride but everybody’s trying to get that good score.”

White admits he doesn’t have the greatest golf game — he can shoot a bogey round  on his best day — but he loves the challenge of playing a course and taking a break from football.

He sees similarities between the two sports. Golf reminds him to focus on each shot and each hole, just like how in football, he focuses on each play instead of the big picture.

“You can’t be thinking about 18 and get up to hole one,” White said. “Each shot is different. You can hit a good drive right down the middle of the fairway and that’s going to be a different shot than  five feet left even if it’s still in the fairway, you might have a bunker.”

How Brady White is more relaxed for 2019 season

Golf also provided an escape after an uneven first season as the Tigers’ starting quarterback.

White  first had to win over a locker room after a quarterback battle with David Moore, who had two previous seasons with the Tigers.

Although White helped guide the Tigers to a second straight AAC West Division championship, throwing for 3,296 yards, it didn’t stop some fans from questioning his arm strength.

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Memphis Head Coach Mike Norvell and quarterback Brady White embrace after the Tigers defeat the Houston Cougars to win the AAC West title 52-31 at the Liberty Bowl on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018.  (Photo: Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal)

Memphis didn’t score a touchdown in the second half in two losses to UCF. In the Birmingham Bowl, White led the Tigers to a late touchdown and put them in field-goal range on the game’s final drive, but finished with 171 passing yards in a 37-34 loss to Wake Forest.

White has shown improvement in preseason practice with stronger arm strength and better mobility heading into the season opener against Ole Miss on Aug. 31. But he’s more proud of being a better teammate and more comfortable joking around instead of being the new guy.

“You go through a full season, up and downs, good and bad, adversity with each other right away and then you get a full offseason with the guys, you can’t put a price on it,” he said. “That’s been really helpful.”

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Brady White said he’s not just comfortable with Mike Norvell’s offense but he’s mastering it in his second year at Memphis
Evan Barnes, The Commercial Appeal

White learned from his father to stay in the moment and learn from it. Focus on the ultimate goal by taking care of little steps.

Golf reminds him to do that away from football.

“You get to just enjoy the greenery and how beautiful nature is,” White said. “Whenever I’m on the course I’m never in a bad mood … unless I hit a bad shot. Then I might let loose.”

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You can reach Tigers football beat writer Evan Barnes on Twitter (@Evan_B) or by email at evan.barnes@commercialappeal.com

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