S HE ASCENDED the 16th
fairway at Coatesville Country
Club, Billy Pabst, Jr. smiled
and sprinkled self-deprecation
atop the lighthearted chatter
among his groupmates. Unexpected behavior
from a player, albeit a teenager, fresh off a bo-
gey-double bogey combination and teetering
on the qualifying edge in the 105th Junior
Boys’ Championship, part of the GAP Junior
Series presented by Citadel.
“I was really trying to forget about it and
get one back,” Pabst, 16, of Roaring Brook
Township, Pa., said. “If you have a bad
attitude coming off a bad score, it usually
just gets worse. If you keep a good attitude
coming off a bad score, then you can come
Such a perspective is part of the Pabst
policy, which is on the precipice of wide-
spread popularity. After all, an award attracts
an audience. Pabst is the GAP’s Junior
Sportsperson of the Year.
“Golf’s not everything. You have to be
recognized as a good person rather than a
real good golfer,” Pabst, an Elmhurst Coun-
try Club member, said. “I find that your
character, and how you handle yourself on
the course, is more important than how you
“Billy has been playing in the AGA Lawler
Junior Tour Series for the last few years. We
encouraged him to extend his schedule this
year. He’s grown into a wonderful young
man,” Patrick Lloyd, GAP Director of North-
east Operations, said. “Not only is Billy a
good player, but he’s doing the right things,
on and off the golf course. He’s courteous
and respectful. I can’t say enough good
Search the Pabst household to find Billy’s
sportsmanship influence. William Pabst, Sr.
is the party responsible for the polite pleas-
“My dad is my biggest role model. I learned
the game from him,” Billy said. “A lot of the
stuff he’s taught me has stayed with me.”
It took a bit of time for a key code of
conduct to resonate with Pabst, a sophomore
at North Pocono High School.
“When I was younger, I used to get pretty
mad,” he said. “’The next shot is the only
one that matters. The last one you can’t
get back. Keep your head up and keep moving forward.’ They always preach it, but it doesn’t
always kick in until you’re older.”
A mature and respectful attitude is clearly in full gear, if 2019 is any indication. In addition
to personal growth, Pabst also made strides as a player. Sharper and steadier irons created a
substantial increase in greens in regulation, which, in turn, translated into better scores. When
reflecting on the summer season, Pabst points to the aforementioned Junior Boys’ as a standout.
After a par on Coatesville’s 16th hole during the event’s stroke-play qualifier, Pabst bogeyed
his final two and missed the Championship Flight cut by a stroke.
Discouraged yet determined, Pabst returned
the next day with a mix of cargo: same
sportsmanship, new putter. He eventually
went on to defeat Phoenixville Country
Club’s Morgan Lofland, 3&1, in the
First Flight Final.
“Winning the First Flight was bit-
tersweet,” Pabst, who carded a 6-over-
par 77 in the Junior Boys’ Qualifier, said.
“I missed the Championship Flight by one
stroke. I had five three-putts from
inside 15 feet. I came back
with a new putter the next
day, made a couple of putts,
got some confidence with it
and played great. From there on
out, I was really looking forward to the
Pabst and his new putter took part in daily
workouts at Elmhurst. The practice green staged
fine-tuning sessions. Elmhurst’s challenging putting
surfaces handled the rest.
“Our greens are some of the best around when they
get them souped-up,” Pabst, the club’s reigning Junior
The moment he’s up and preparing for a day on the
golf course, headwear selection enters the equation.
Bucket or conventional hat? The policy here isn’t as
linear as Pabst’s sportsmanship.
“If it’s going to be really sunny and really hot, then
I like to wear the bucket hat so my ears and neck
don’t get fried. I like the bucket. It keeps me cooler
than a normal hat,” he said. “It all depends how I
Good vibes aplenty for Pabst on the high school golf
front this fall. He won the Jackman Memorial Golf Tour-
nament at Scranton Municipal Golf Course and advanced
to the PIAA East Golf Regional Boys’ Individual Champion-
ships. In addition to golf, Pabst is also a member of the North
Pocono’s men’s varsity basketball team.
Shooting buckets, hitting buckets, wearing buckets. “Billy
Buckets” is a nickname waiting to happen.
“That would be pretty good I have to admit,” Pabst said.
For the time being, “Benevolent Billy” will do.
– Tony Regina
JUNIOR SPORTSPERSON OF THE YEAR