All-Region: Ridgefield’s Johnson always brings his golf game with him

Traveling to sunshine states helped land 1A state title

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

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Brett Johnson loves the competition, will travel in search of more competition.

The competition, he says, drives him to become a better golfer.

He must have a lot of competition then at those tournaments in Oregon, California, even Arizona.

As a high school golfer, he certainly dominated Washington — first in the fall during the regular season for boys golf, then in the spring at the Class 1A state championship. Johnson, a junior from Ridgefield, won the state championship by four strokes.

With his performance, Johnson is The Columbian’s All-Region boys golfer of the year.

He first became a scratch golfer last summer, and over the last 10 months, has improved to a plus-3. For those unfamiliar with the handicap system, if Johnson played in tournaments using handicap scores, he would have to add three strokes to his total. In other words, he would have to shoot a 69 just to record a 72.

There are no handicaps in high school varsity competition — just trying to explain that Johnson is pretty darn good at this game.

“Practicing every day is what helps me do that,” Johnson said.

He used to play premier soccer before turning his focus solely to golf.

I realized that was my true calling,” Johnson explained.

Seems like a good move, considering several Division I college golf programs have contacted him, letting him know that his skills are desired.

Johnson won the district tournament in the fall, then had to wait until the spring for the state tournament. He used his time to travel on many weekends to California and Arizona — sunshine states, he said — to compete and keep his game sharp.

It worked.

“I think of it as a great success,” Johnson said. “I won both the district tournament (and) the state tournament. Those were my two goals for high school this year. Hopefully, I can do it again next year.”