Declan Hickton is a first-year on Men’s Golf. In March’s Jekyll Island Individual Championship, he finished second place among 39 competitors. Hickton also helped the ‘Jackets finish seventh at the Hershey Cup two weeks ago.
How did you get interested in golf?
My dad is a big golfer, and growing up walking distance from a golf course, I became interested in golf pretty easily. I did not take it up competitively until high school, though.
What do you enjoy most about golf at UR?
Traveling to tournaments is definitely a lot of fun when you got a good group of guys, like we do. Also, we have the privilege to practice at Oak Hill Country Club, which goes up against any golf program’s home course and practice facility, Division I or Division III.
How have you grown as an athlete over the course of your collegiate career?
I am just a freshman, so I definitely have a lot more room for growth as a collegiate competitor. But I just try to show up to each round with the right mindset and right expectations and always do my best. I am going to continue to strive to keep getting better every day over the next three years.
What has it been like transitioning from High School to Collegiate competition?
High school golf and college golf have some similarities, but the competition, even at the Division III level, is much greater than it was in high school, which I really enjoy because it motivates me to keep getting better. You did not always get that at the high school level.
How do you balance academics and athletics?
Balancing athletics and academics has been something I have been doing throughout high school, so I am pretty accustomed to it, but I have found it to be a bit more difficult in college. I try to lean on friends or teammates when I need help, and Coach understands and emphasizes that academics come first.
Who has had the greatest impact on your playing career and why?
Definitely my brother Keenan, who plays golf at Emory University, has been most influential in my golf career. Any of my success as a golfer is much in part to him, and it’s fun because I now get to compete against him in the UAA, and a few other tournaments. When I was first getting into competitive golf, we would spend hours on the range during the summer months practicing and playing together. He knows my game better than I do.
Who is your favorite professional athlete, and why?
My favorite professional athlete tends to change, but right now it is probably Tommy Fleetwood, who is an English golfer on the European Tour. He has a great golf swing, a positive attitude, and great hair.
If you could have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
Unlimited supply of Chipotle.