The 2022 Florida high school golf season officially kicked off this week as schools head to their local courses for regular season tournaments.

With the state championships slated for November, the two-month regular season serves as a build-up to the district tournament on Oct. 24, with regional play a week later.

In the Pensacola area, a number of golfers do well in June, July and August. They hope to turn that momentum into further low scores.

Here are nine names to look out for this coming season based on past results on the prep and junior circuits. Of the nine golfers, seven were named the NPC All-Area team last season.


Holland Davidson, Sr., Gulf Breeze

Davidson is the leading returner on a Dolphins team that ranked eighth in the state. The team earned a second-place finish in districts and regionals while Davidson posted a team best score of 79.

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For the past two months, the senior has placed in the top four in all four events on the Greater Pensacola Junior Golf Association’s summer tour. She followed a fourth-place finish with three second-place results.

Gabrielle Hultstrand, So., Pensacola

Gabby Hultstrand of Pensacola tees off during the Divot Derby at Tiger Point Golf Club in Gulf Breeze on Wednesday July 20, 2022.

After the Tigers golfer caused a stir in her debut campaign and continued her excellence over the summer, there’s every reason to believe Hultstrand is in store for another successful show in the fall. Taking second place in districts and tied for fifth at regionals, she was the region’s top finisher at state after finishing tied for 22nd. For her efforts, Hultstrand was named PNJ’s Female Golfer of the Year.

She followed that up this summer with a three-stroke championship victory over Pensacola City and a playoff win at the 65th Annual Divot Derby.

Sydney Lane, Sr., Booker T. Washington

Sydney Lane of Pensacola putts during the Divot Derby at Tiger Point Golf Club in Gulf Breeze on Wednesday July 20, 2022.

With the credentials of former district and regional champion Molly Kirkman, Lane slips into the top tier of the Wildcats roster. Lane herself is coming off a junior campaign where she qualified for the regional tournament. Competing in four events on the GPJGA Summer Tour, the senior earned a third-place finish at the Sugar Sands Showdown at the Club at Hidden Creek.

Abby Vernier, Sr., West Florida

In line to make a Hultstrand-like impact, Vernier is expected to make his high school debut this fall for the Jaguars. She captured a pair of events on the GPJGA Summer Tour. In the first event of the Tour, she used a sub-par second round to win the Cook Family Classic by two strokes over Hultstrand. Three weeks later, she beat Davidson by one stroke to win the Blue Angels Cup.


David Chavez, Sr., Pensacola Catholic

Chavez is entering his final high school competitive season with a decorated resume. The senior has won individual district titles while helping the Crusaders win tag team district championships for the past two years. He added to his medal tally by finishing top of the standings in the Region 1-1A encounter.

During the offseason, Chavez had three wins while competing on the PGA Alabama/Northwest Florida Junior Golf Tour and had another win while competing in an Alabama Junior Golf Association event.

Braden Duvall, Jr., Rhythm

The other players on this list are all Class of 2024 golfers, starting with the Patriots’ No. 1 player. Duvall helped Pace a District 1-3A title in 2021 after helping the team claim the District 1-2A crown in 2020. The junior earned two top-three finishes at GPJGA events, including a win at The Club at Hidden Creek’s Sugar Sands Showdown.

Braden Duvall of Pace tees off during the Divot Derby at Tiger Point Golf Club in Gulf Breeze on Wednesday, July 20, 2022.

Jack Patrick, Jr., Gulf Breeze

As a sophomore, Patrick played his best in the biggest events of the year. After placing just outside the top 10 in districts, Patrick produced the Dolphins’ low score at regionals (81, tied for 12th) and state (two-round score of 173, 61st place ). As a team, Gulf Breeze finished third and 15th respectively in those two team encounters.

Bentley Van Pelt, Jr., West Florida

The Jaguars junior shed a tear at the end of the GPJGA Summer Tour season. After placing third in his first event, Van Pelt has won victories in his last three competitions, winning the Southern Juniors, the Blue Angels Cup and the Pensacola City Championship, where he scored 65 in the first tour of the Osceola Municipal Golf Course. .

Last season, Van Pelt shot 161 over two days to finish in a three-way tie for 23rd. Previously, he had won second place honors at regionals.

Jack Wallace, Jr., Tate

Jack Wallace of Cantonment reacts to the sinking of his putt during the Divot Derby at Tiger Point Golf Club in Gulf Breeze on Wednesday July 20, 2022.

Although unable to stand alone on a leaderboard, Wallace has been as consistent as any local golfer this summer. The junior Aggies has placed at least second in his four GPJGA Summer Tour events. He equaled those results in the Divot Derby and the A. Downing Gray Cup.

Wallace has won two Tour events in 2021 and was an individual state qualifier as a rookie in 2020.

Patrick Bernadeau is a sports reporter for the Pensacola News Journal. He can be reached at (850) 503-3828, on Twitter @PatBernadeau or by email at [email protected]