Locker Room: Brendon Jelley
The OSU golfer hopes to follow in the footsteps of other standouts.
Jenks High School graduate Brendon Jelley red-shirted this past year as a freshman at Oklahoma State University.
OSU Media Relations
Oklahoma State University has traditionally been a hot bed for collegiate golfers who advance to successful professional careers. The list includes Bo Van Pelt, Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, Scott Verplank and Bob Tway.
One former Jenks High School golfer would like the opportunity to someday join that exclusive club.
Brendon Jelley, who just completed his freshman year at OSU, was one of the state’s most decorated high school golfers in recent years.
While red-shirting this past year, he took the opportunity to improve his golf game but nevertheless missed the competition.
“It was a tough decision to red-shirt, but OSU had so many great players that it was the right decision,” Jelley says.
TulsaPeople caught up with the potential Cowboy star after a recent practice session.
How did you start playing golf? I started playing golf almost as soon as I was able to walk. My dad (Steve Jelley) was the one who really taught me the game when I was just getting started. When I turned 9 or 10, I started getting competitive and playing in tournaments.
You received a host of honors and awards in high school. What do you consider the highlight of your high school career? Being named the All-Metro Golfer of the Year my senior year was pretty special. There were so many good players that could have won. But one award that was a surprise was being named the Top Male Athlete at Jenks High School as a senior. There were a bunch of great athletes at Jenks like Jordan Smallwood, now a wide receiver at OU, that everyone thought would win. I wasn’t really expecting a random golfer like myself to win. I was very fortunate to win.
You had a number of scholarship offers to play collegiate golf. Why did you decide to attend OSU? For me it was a pretty easy choice. I had looked at other schools like TU, OU, Arkansas, SMU, Kansas and Texas A&M. But I had grown up an OSU fan, and both of my parents went to OSU. I had known Coach Mike McGraw (then the OSU golf coach) for a while, and he was recruiting me. I ended up committing during my junior year.
In an average week, how much time do you devote to golf? During the spring, it’s probably about ... 30-40 hours per week.
What do you consider your strengths? Probably my short game. My chipping and putting have been what I’ve always relied on in the past. That’s a big part of my game. I feel like I have also improved on my longer game.
Who has had the greatest influence on your golfing career? That has to be my dad. He’s always been encouraging and supportive. We still get together and play during the summer. My younger brother Garrett (a sophomore at Jenks High School) also plays with us.
Do you have aspirations of ultimately playing on the pro tour? That’s something that seems so far off, but absolutely, if I get the opportunity to turn pro, I would love to. That’s always been a dream of mine.
Jelley’s golfing highlights
Wendy’s High School Heisman Award Winner
Jenks High School Male Athlete of the Year
Class 6A State Championship Runner-up (2013)
Four-time First Team All-Frontier Conference Golf Team and First Team Frontier Conference All-Academic Team
Won 2012 Red River Challenge
Won American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Championship
Runner-up at the AJGA Stacy Lewis
Named to AGJA Rolex All-American Team
Achieved 4.0 GPA in high school
Four top-five finishes in AGJA events
Class 6A East Regional Medalist (2012)
Ranked No. 18 nationally in Class of 2013 by Golfweek/Titleist Junior
Ranked No. 23 nationally in Class of 2013 by Polo Junior Golf
Shot under par in more than half of summer tournaments with scoring average of 70
Class 6A State Championship Runner-up (2011)
Took first place in: Oklahoma Golf Association Junior Boys Championship (ages 12-15); South Central PGA National Junior Qualifier (age 18 and under); AGJA Qualifier at Elbit Systems Championship; and Texas-Oklahoma Championship
Class 6A East Regional Medalist (2010)
Won multiple events of Oklahoma Junior Golf Tour and South Central PGA