As Cody Oakes’ dedication to his golf game has increased, his scores have decreased.
The Arlington senior is a two-time 3A state meet participant, tying for 22nd place at last year’s tournament. This spring he’s poised to become one of the top golfers in Wesco 3A thanks to his balanced approach.
“He works on all parts of his game,” Eagles coach Kevin Coghill said. “He’s always trying to pick up new things and learn as much as he can. His strength is his intelligence; he decided that he didn’t want to be a one-dimensional golfer. He really doesn’t have any weaknesses.”
Here are five things to know about Oakes:
1. He started playing golf when he was an eighth-grader. “I used to be big into baseball, but my dad thought I could do better in golf and possibly play in college, so he bought me a set of clubs, and I played every day that summer,” said Oakes, who hasn’t decided on a college but hopes to play at the next level. “I like the fact that while it is a team sport, it’s mostly just you out there. If you make a mistake, it doesn’t affect other people. You have to rely on yourself.”
2.Building confidence has been his biggest challenge. “When I started playing, I wasn’t super confident, but I wasn’t very competitive, so it wasn’t a huge thing,” he said. “I got competitive my sophomore year, but my confidence dropped because I was worried about my scores. Then once I started to progress, my confidence got better. Craig Welty, (the head professional at Skagit Golf & Country Club in Burlington), has helped my mental game quite a bit. I’m working on my confidence, keeping calm and having as much fun as I can.”
3. He shot a career-best round last month. He fired an even-par 70 at Gleneagle Golf Course in Arlington. “I was putting well,” he said. “I had only 28 putts, and two birdies, so I was making a lot of par putts. Before that day, my putting (had been shaky), so to shoot that round boosted my confidence.”
4. Even when he’s working, he’s around golf. He has a job at the Seattle Premium Outlets TaylorMade Factory Store in Tulalip. “I get a discount on golf stuff, and it’s helped me out because I’ve saved a lot of money. I’ve definitely spent quite a bit on golf stuff for sure,” he said. “The people I work with, I know them well, so it’s fun hanging out and working. It’s also helped me with my ability to speak with and get more comfortable around other people.”
5. When he’s not golfing, he’s snowboarding. Introduced to the activity by his parents 10 years ago, Oakes visits Stevens Pass often in the winter months with his friends. “It’s my winter hobby,” he said. “I can’t do any crazy tricks, but I can ride on any terrain. It’s more relaxing than golf because when when I’m golfing, I’m so competitive, I’m focused on shooting well. But when I’m snowboarding, I’m just having fun with my friends.”