Arie Jackman rises from soccer star, to division one golfer at CMU

Arie never played competitive golf until he was 16
Arie Jackman - CMU golf
Posted at 11:04 PM, Sep 17, 2023

MOUNT PLESANT, Mich. — “My freshmen year I played golf, and played with my grandma’s club for a year and then I started to really enjoy it and got my own set of clubs. By my junior year I played in my first summer tournament which was outside of school and I’ve loved it ever since then,” said Arie Jackman.

Arie Jackman rises from soccer star, to division one golfer at CMU

Before graduation from Caledonia, Arie sat down and weight his options. He had an offer to play soccer at Davenport but thought that golf would be better for him long term.

“It was hard. My older brother played soccer at Western Michigan and he really enjoyed it and did really well. I saw what he was doing. There was a part of me that wanted to play in soccer games but I also saw the conditioning and stuff like that,” said Jackman.

So he gave up soccer and enrolled at Grand Rapids Community College to play golf in the fall of 2020. Between the pandemic and never really having a swing instructor, Arie says there were times that he struggled to want to play.

“Things kind of went sideways there for about a year and a half. I was really struggling with golf and I almost quit a few times just because I was struggling to compete with other junior college kids, I just couldn’t see a future,” said Jackman.

Things quickly turned around and soon, Central Michigan came calling as they were restarting their men’s golf program after a 37 year hiatus.

“I typically reach for intelligent individuals who prove it through their academics. Who are hard working and good people. Arie checked all those boxes and those thing typically translate to successful program for me,” said Kevin Jennings.

Arie won the Michigan Medal Play tournament at Detroit golf club in May, shooting 63 in the final two rounds. A few weeks later in the middle of a tournament, he got the call inviting him to the U.S. Amateur. Days later, he and his family headed out to Colorado for the tournament. It wasn’t his best round of golf he’s ever played, but the lessons he learned were priceless.

“I wouldn’t say that it was like ‘I thought they were better than me’ but it was more that I saw things in them that I don’t have in my game. And that was probably the biggest thing I learned. With those players, we sit on the range and we sit golf shots and they all look the same but we go out on the course and maybe they beat me by four or five shots,” said Jackman.

Now back in Mount Pleasant, Arie is finishing his senior year and will graduate in the spring. After his win in Detroit and the trip to the U.S. Am, he’s thankful he kept playing golf even during his toughest times in the last two years.

“I mean that’s why I stuck with it. Holding that trophy and during the presentation I kinda just sat there and thought about the journey I’ve had so far and hopefully what a journey I can keep having,” said Jackman.