Helena’s Gladden signs with Arkansas State
Published 3:20 pm Friday, November 13, 2015
By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer
HELENA–Helena High School senior Grayson Gladden has decided to continue her academic and athletic future at Arkansas State University, where she signed her letter of intent to play collegiate golf for the Arkansas State Lady Red Wolves women’s golf team.
Gladden was accompanied by her parents, Lee and Shara Gladden, as well as numerous friends and family members on Nov. 12 who were on hand to celebrate her accomplishment.
“It’s like a burden lifted off your shoulders,” Gladden said after signing her letter of intent. “You’ve worked so hard for something and it finally happened and it’s just a relief.”
Golf themed refreshments, black and red balloons and more Arkansas State decorations were seen at Gladden’s signing, who began playing golf tournaments at age 9 and currently averages a score of 76 per round.
Scott Hassee, Gladden’s golf instructor, has been working with Gladden to help improve her game since December 2014 and so far the instruction has been paying off.
“Her scoring average has come down about three or four strokes and her ball striking has improved tremendously,” said Hassee. “Her putting is the part we’re really going to work at. If we get her putting down to where it needs to be, she’ll be in the low 70s, high 60s competing in tournaments.”
To help with the improvement of her short game, Gladden was presented with a brand new putter as a gift at her signing.
Gladden believes her time at Helena helped her get where she is today because of the high level of competition she has faced in numerous tournaments.
“I feel like we get to play in the best high school tournaments so that helps a lot,” said Gladden. “The best tournaments are where the higher quality players play in and if you’re at a smaller school you might not get to play in those so that’s helped a lot.”