A Sense of Pride: Ryan Peters Finds His Home in the Game
By Brendon Elliott, PGA
Stetson University junior, Ryan Peters recently posted a 10th place finish at the 2022 PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship. Stetson University is about a driver and wedge away from me, so I thought I would try to catch up with Ryan and learn more about his journey through the game.
Ryan Arthur Michael Peters was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad. He first picked up a golf club when he was about 4 years old. It was a set of mini plastic clubs that his older brother Mark would use to play with around the house. Safe to say it those plastic clubs left an impression - until his grandfather gave him the opportunity to swing a real club.
“My earliest memory of learning to play the game was when I spent time with my grandparents in Scotland. My grandfather would take me and my brother out to Scoonie Golf Club in Leven. He loved to teach us how to hit different shots around the course, and I would always be fascinated to swing his Nike SQ driver, which was way too heavy for me, but I thought it was the coolest thing in the world.”
According to Ryan, those times spent playing with his grandfather and brother lit a spark in him to continue playing the game.
As Ryan got older, and golf became more of his passion, his parents had to make some decisions to give him the best path forward that would allow him to develop and grow through the game.
“Back home in Trinidad, high school golf didn't exist, so it was only when my parents decided to move me to America to attend golf academy that I really started to be competitive.”
Like many that grow up with the game at the center of their world, Ryan has very fond memories of his years playing golf in high school.
I loved everything about it. Being outdoors, being competitive, and being able to smash a golf ball 100 yards brought me so much joy.
“The countless bus rides we took to and from events… they were always so enjoyable. It allowed me to be able to play the game I loved and do it with the friends I made because of it.”
Though he enjoyed the perks that came with moving, Ryan didn't completely abandon his homeland. He fondly recalls the time, during these high school years, that he was able to represent his National team of Trinidad.
“It brought me so much pride [to be on the team]. It was so great to represent my home country and be able to really start flying my nations flag and ensuring to represent the values they have instilled in me throughout my travels.”
Beyond pride in his country, Ryan knows how lucky he is to have the support system he does, particularly his parents, who instilled important values in him and consistently believed in his dreams alongside him.
In addition to the support he gets from his parents, there is one player that also inspires Ryan daily to be better and keep growing.
“Tiger Woods. No words can really describe how much he has meant to me when it comes to striving to be my best. He just showed me the peak of determination, and how a strong mindset could allow you to beat impossible odds. It also helped a little that at a young age people always drew comparisons between Tiger and I when it comes to how I look, but that just really captured me on the whole Idea that I can follow in his footsteps and be there on tour competing against him one day. In a way I tried to copy his mannerism and tried to be a carbon copy of him.”
Ryan cites his biggest achievements so far in his journey to include:
Placing in the Top 5 at the Oakland University invitational at Mission Inn Resort
Helping his Stetson University team get their first victory in 11 years at the North Carolina A&T Invitational
Being a part of the Stetson University team and helping lead them to 4 top 3 finishes this season
Placing in the Top 10 at the 2022 PGA WORKS Championship in the Men’s Individual division.
As Ryan continues through his collegiate journey, he has some lofty but seemingly very attainable goals for such a polished young man.
“My goals are to graduate with Honors, and to keep developing my golf game to the point that when it's time to leave school, I know I'll be ready to tackle my dream of playing professional golf.”
After graduation from Stetson next school year, Ryan has a very clear pathway forward for himself.`
“I plan to play golf at the highest level and go through the stages to make it on the European and PGA Tours. I also wish to develop my own company…I can't share too many details about that right now, but when it starts to take shape, I will be willing to share that vision with you for sure!”