Top Performer: Sam Grout
SPEARFISH, S.D. – Eric Ligtenberg has coached more than his fair share of outstanding prep golfers over the years.
It didn’t take the veteran coach long to realize he had another good one in Sam Grout.
In fact, the senior recently wrapped up a solid career at Spearfish High School.
Sam Grout from Spearfish has played golf his entire life.
But he really didn’t take the sport seriously until he was in middle school.
“Me and my friend, Dane Burghduff, decided going into our seventh grade year that we would give it a try and then from there just fell in love with it,” Sam Grout said.
It didn’t take long for Grout to impress his golf coach.
“As an eighth grader, he was on our varsity team that performed pretty high at the state golf tournament at the Hart Ranch,” Spearfish golf coach Eric Ligtenberg said. “We ended up getting second that year. He was a major contributor to that team that got second place.”
Grout’s hard work payed off throughout his high school career.
He was a member of five Black Hills Conference championship teams.
Plus, Grout captured the individual conference title three years in a row.
“It’s awesome,” Grout added. “I couldn’t have done it without the team pushing me towards the goal. But it was very exciting for me.”
That’s not all.
During his junior season, he finished 6th at the State ‘AA” Boys Golf Tournament.
Then two weeks ago, Grout placed 11th out of 103 golfers at state.
“Sam wasn’t having the best final day I would say in his ability level,” Ligtenberg said. “He was still doing okay. But to see him finish birdie birdie, that’s a really good way to finish your high school career.”
Grout admits, he was emotional after he walked off the final green for the last time in his high school career.
“It was a mix of emotions,” Grout said. “It had been a rough day so a little bit of relief to finally get it done. End in a good way and a positive note. Then sad for the memories that I won’t be making anymore. I won’t be with the team. That’s the biggest part of it for me. The team aspect.”
“He’s one of the most talented but he’s also one of most hardest workers on the team,” Ligtenberg said. “He puts in some of the most time. So yeah, he is a huge part. If we take Sam out of the equation, we don’t do as well for sure.”
Grout doesn’t plan on golfing competitively at the next level.
Instead, he is joining the Army next year after he graduates in May.
But Grout said he made some great memories during his high school career.
“I’ve had an amazing team every year I’ve played.” Grout said. “So I will not forget them.”
Congratulations to Sam Grout on being named a News Center 1 Top Performer.
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