Photo: Westbrook Christian senior Jackson Bowman (seated at center) signed a golf scholarship with Birmingham Southern College on Feb. 24. Pictured with Jackson are dad Jay and mom Jennifer.
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
Jackson Bowman’s future is set for the next four years.
On February 24, the Westbrook Christian senior signed a letter of intent to play golf at Division III Birmingham Southern College.
“It’s just a lot of work, sometimes when you don’t want to,” said Bowman, who plans on studying either pre-med or architecture at BSC. “Sometimes you want to hang out with your friends, but you’ve got that inner goal you set for yourself. It’s about pushing yourself and practicing and having it ultimately pay off.”
Bowman’s recruiting process was severely compromised when the COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancellation of all AHSAA spring sports in mid-March of 2020. In addition to missing most of his junior season, Bowman could not make official visits or meet with college coaches. On top of that, most colleges granted their 2020 seniors an additional year of eligibility, limiting the options for Bowman and his fellow golf scholarship seekers.
“It was tough,” he said. “A lot of the schools I was talking with told me that they didn’t have any spots open. But I’m very happy with where I’m at. Academically, you really can’t get much better than Birmingham Southern, and I really like the campus. I just thought it was the best place for me.”
Bowman’s prep resume is impressive. As a seventh grader and again as an eighth grader, Bowman helped Westbrook win the 2016 and 2017 state titles. He shot a 177 score at state in 2016 and 151 score at state in 2017. He twice helped the Warriors finish as the state runner-up – Class 3A in 2019 and Class 1A-2A in 2018. Bowman shot a 159 score at the 2019 state tournament and 161 in 2018. He was selected to participate in the 2020 AHSAA North/South All-Star golf match, but the event was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.
Bowman finished in the top 20 at North & South Junior Amateur Open at Pinehurst in North Carolina. He also competed in the PGA Junior Tournament in Scottsboro, Arizona in 2017. He won the Alabama Junior Tournament in 2016.
Jackson’s dad Jay has been his golf coach at Westbrook since he was a seventh grader.
“It’s always been his dream to play golf in college, and he’s worked hard, so I’m very proud of Jackson. College coaches haven’t been out to physically recruit since March of last year, so it’s been very difficult. Jackson had a lot of interest from other schools, but those coaches didn’t know who was staying or leaving. Jackson’s definitely overcome some obstacles, and I think it all worked out for the best.”
Jackson and his Westbrook teammates have set a high bar for 2021.
“Ultimately the goal is to win the state tournament, so with a lot of hard work, hopefully we’ll get there,” he said.