Georgetown News
Photo by Mark Ashman/Golf Channel
Photo by Mark Ashman/Golf Channel
Men's Golf - Tue, Oct. 14, 2014

While 2011 Georgetown alum Christian Heavens is mum about the final results on his appearance of Golf Channel's Big Break Myrtle Beach, he is not shy about one thing it has accomplished for him.

"I love talking with young people and sharing my story with them," Heavens said. "This opportunity on TV, doing the game I love, has provided another avenue for me to reach more of America's youth."

Heavens is from East St. Louis, Ill. and growing up was very aware of his rough living environment. He watched as young boys made decisions to be in gangs and get involved in drugs. His family had other dreams for him.

"My grandfather sacrificed a lot for me to be where I am. He put a plastic golf club in my hand when I was young and always told me I was born to be a golfer," Heavens said. "My mom and my community have poured into me, making this opportunity that much more important. They all mean so much to me. I got out of the streets and I want others to know they can do the same."

Part of his message was in the number he wore on the show. He picked seven to represent his grandfather, mother, community and faith. He was committed every day to being who they had helped him to become and believed in throughout his life.

Since his time filming the Big Break – Golf Channel's reality show that gives golfers through elimination rounds and cuts a chance to play with the very best on the PGA or LPGA tours – Heavens has spoken to multiple groups in Florida and St. Louis.

"It means a lot to me to do this and to be around these groups," Heavens said. "With everything going on in my area. With all the stuff about Ferguson, it has been refreshing to give my community and friends and family a positive reason to tune in every week."

Every Tuesday night 12 individuals compete to move through the challenge. The show aired the season opener this past Tuesday, but no one was eliminated. One competitor did pick up an immunity pass, giving him the ability to stave off elimination for one round.

"I have always wanted to be on this show and this is the second time I tried out," Heavens said. "It is just a great opportunity for testing your game, perfecting your craft and getting exposure. The first time I auditioned I wasn't sure, but this second time was different. I walked away very confident.

"As time passed I got a little less confident, but when I was invited to the semifinals I knew I would make it on the show."

Golf has been a staple since that first club his grandfather gave him. He played golf and avoided the entanglements the inner city life had to offer him. Heavens then became a founding member in the First Tee program of The Gateway. He parlayed that experience into success on the high school and collegiate levels as he came to Georgetown College.

"Christian was an outstanding golfer who did a lot of good things during his four years as a Tiger," said GC coach Flash Williams. "I've always been so proud of Christian for who he is and how you handles himself and the game. Pressures can be high, especially when you are as good as he is, but he takes everything in stride. As is the case for most golfers, he has experienced highs and lows in his young career, but he loves the game and knows he can be good on the next level."

Heavens made the NAIA National Championship his junior year, earning All-American honorable mention status. His focused waned a bit, but when his results were slipping during the fall season of his senior year, Heavens made the decision that his grandfather was right. Golf was made for him and a golfer he would be. Right before graduation, the Illinois native made the U.S. Amateur Championship and it re-invigorated his commitment.

He went on to play professionally, even winning two tournaments in 2012. The game got expensive and taxing though, which brings his story to early 2014. Down to his last funds for tournament fees, Heavens got the call reminding him that golf is for him.

"Big Break Myrtle Beach let me know I was a contestant and I knew it was meant to be," Heavens said. "Winning the show is the big picture everyone sees, but to be on it, have that experience and exposure, just rejuvenates my drive for my ultimate dream."

He is currently playing on the Web.com Tour with hopes of cracking into the PGA.

"I would not trade this experience for anything," Heavens said. "Usually you have those few on a reality series that just rub you the wrong way or you don't want to root for, but I can't convey how great this group was and how much of a family it became. We all keep in touch and are all wanting to see us achieve our goals."

 
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