Turner Foster, one of the best golfers East Hampton has ever produced, has decided to continue his golf career at Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Foster made the decision official last week when he signed his letter of intent in principal Adam Fine’s office at East Hampton High School on November 20, along with his mother and father, Laurie and Eden, boys varsity golf head coach Rich King, counseling coordinator Lynne Brown, and athletic director Joe Vasile-Cozzo. The senior said it came down to three schools—Loyola, the University of Connecticut and Wofford College in South Carolina—but that the head coach, Chris Baloga, his future teammates, and the facilities at Loyola swayed him enough to go there. It also helped that Loyola is a successful program, having won its conference 12 times since 2003 and consistently qualifying for the NCAA Division I Championships.
Claude Beudert, who coached Foster for five of the six years he played varsity golf at East Hampton, said Foster statistically is the best golfer East Hampton has ever seen. He’s the program’s second player to ever qualify for the New York State Championships, the other being Ian Lynch, but Foster has the highest placements at counties, having won it in 2016, and then placing second the past two years. With the U.S. Open practically in his backyard this past summer at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Foster also did his best in qualifying for the event as an amateur. He placed in the top six in a local qualifying at the Mount Kisco Country Club to advance to sectional qualifying at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, New Jersey.
Beudert noted that Foster has had the resources to be a great golfer with his father, Eden, being the head pro at the prestigious Maidstone Golf Club, but as Beudert noted he’s put those resources to good use. And Beudert appreciates the fact that Foster played another sport, basketball, during his high school career.
“I think that helps his competitiveness, and it’s nice to see how he’s grown into a mature young man and golfer,” he said.
Rich King only coached Foster for one season after taking over for Beudert this season as the varsity coach, but he appreciated the time he had with him.
“As a person, he’s a tremendous kid, well mannered, comes from a great family,” he said. “He’s a leader with the younger players. He was everything I expected and thought he would be. He’s a good, solid kid with a tremendous future. As for on the course, I think his scores and play speaks for itself. He was a pleasure to coach and I was fortunate to have him on my team for a year. I would have liked to have him for longer.”
Foster, who will play at states in June, said he’s working on his game constantly, when he’s not playing basketball. He’s trying to get stronger so he can add distance to his drives, something he’ll need for the college game. Beudert thinks Foster still has some growing to do.
“We’ve seen how tall he’s gotten since seventh grade to his senior year, but he still hasn’t filled out yet, and when he does, that will help him add distance,” he explained. “He’s got the iron play and the short game to compete, but you don’t want to be 15 to 20 yards behind the people you’re playing against. Being able to add distance shortens the course, so as he fills out he’ll add yardage to his drives.”