Dale Hansen and Luke Kirkpatrick at WFAA-TV studios

Luke Kirkpatrick’s top golf tips? Determination and practice.

“You may make a bad shot,” says the recently graduated captain of Lake Highlands High School’s varsity golf team, “but you can always make it up on the next hole.”

The advice is sure to serve Luke well, considering he’s got a tough row to hoe over the next few years. He’s headed to UT to major in math, and after that he’s off to medical school.

When Luke’s mom, Sharon, announced on his birthday he’d be featured on Dale Hansen’s Sports Special as Scholar-Athlete of the Week, he admits he wasn’t sure what that meant.

“I didn’t know what I’d be doing or how big of an honor it was.”

He knows now. Luke was in the WFAA studios last week with the Channel 8 sportscaster filming his segment, which will air this Sunday at 10:35 after the nighttime news.

“I’m really excited,” says Luke. “I’m honored to be picked for this. It’s amazing – I’m still kind of shocked, really, because, I mean, I’m a golfer. A lot of Texas sports are football-based. For a golfer to be chosen – that’s big.”

Luke knows young athletes gravitate to other sports, so building his team wasn’t easy.

“Kids are more pulled to football and basketball because you see them more. Like, the NBA finals and the Super Bowl – no one really pays attention to the Masters. Recruiting is hard, but joining golf has been the best decision of my career. We have a tight-knit family.”

“Gaining patience, sportsmanship and determination has also helped my grades,” says the National Honor Society New Member Chair who graduated No. 14 in his class. “I learned when go out and when to stay home and study.”

The sport has had benefits at home, as well.

“It’s really connected me and my dad since I started getting into it in sixth grade,” says Luke. “He brought me into the sport when I was 3 – just swinging clubs – and we’ll have family tournaments with my mom and my brother, Dillon. Golf has brought our family together.”

Luke admits he’s heard the old jokes about doctors shirking work to hit the links – his own dad is a doctor after all. He just hopes to enjoy the game for a lifetime.

“When it’s not too hot in the summer, I enjoy just being outside. It feels great to be out there – just the wind on you, walking the course for hours. It’s relaxing, even if you’re not having the best round.”

Luke Kirkpatrick at WFAA-TV