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Beat the Course: How Top Golfer Caleb McCullough Plays the Game

Updated: May 1, 2023

Caleb McCullough, Judah Christian School Golf Athlete

On the course, “Mickey” is no mouse. In fact, junior Caleb McCullough — called Mickey by those who can get away with it — is Judah Christian School’s best student golfer.

In the 2022 season, Caleb finished first, second, or third in eight out of his twelve matches. He finished first, or tied for first, four times. He averaged a score of 79 across eighteen holes, or about 7 over par. Twice, he scored as low as 2 over par. According to official PGA Tour statistics, male PGA Tour professional golfers average a score between 68 and 72. Male college golfers at Division I schools generally score in the low to mid 70s. So Judah’s own Caleb McCullough is not far from being a college-level golfer, or even a golf pro.

But that’s not what drives Caleb. He doesn’t worry about beating the competition. He focuses on beating the course. When Judah Newsroom asked Caleb what puts him into the right mindset for his next match, he said, “A lot of people think you need to analyze your competition, see who’s better than you, and then beat them. But over the summer, I learned something. It’s not who you beat. It’s how you beat the course. You don’t let the course beat you.”

Caleb doesn’t let too many courses beat him. In each of the last three seasons, he has led Judah golf to regional and sectional tournament play. In those three seasons, he finished second, second, and third overall at the regional match. He finished in the top 30 each season at the sectional match. At the county tournament his freshman year, Caleb finished first.

But once again, that’s not what makes Caleb stand out. When we asked who his golfing role models are, Caleb gave us three names: Phil Mickelson, Scottie Scheffler, and Sam Burns. “When I was younger,” Caleb said, “it was probably Phil Mickelson, because the way he played was scrappy and everyone loved watching him. Now, it’s probably Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns, because of how they demonstrate their faith in God through golf.” Those are Caleb’s golfing role models now: top-notch pros who demonstrate their faith in God through golf.

Caleb McCullough, Judah Christian School Golf Athlete

Caleb is the epitome of what principal Jim Moxley told us when we asked him for the definition of a Judah athlete. Mr. Moxley said, “I think it’s important to remember that when students wear the Judah jersey, they’re representing their families, their school, and most importantly, God. How they compete should look different.”

Judah Christian golfer Caleb McCullough looks different. He is very good at what he does, but he’s not trying to squash his opponents. He’s just faithfully working to beat the course.

— EJ Hairston, class of '24


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