For some under the age of 15, ambition might amount to staring out the window watching cars go by.
Not Falyn Lackey. She’s 15 now, and has already been tearing up golf courses throughout the southwest for about five years. And her career is really only in its early stages.
Though just a Hobbs High sophomore, Falyn is the owner of so many medals, plaques, ribbons and trophies, it seems like her parents may have to soon add on to their house just to make room.
It might have to be a big addition. Falyn still has more than two years of high school and four years of college left. And, who knows what else she might accomplish beyond that. A spot on the PGA Tour?
“Yeah, I’ve thought about it,” she said. “I think it would be really fun. I don’t know how I would feel about being on T.V.”
If she ever does make it to the PGA, Falyn shouldn’t have to worry about hiring a caddy. She and her older brother Seth, also an avid golfer and a successful one, have an arrangement – whichever one gets to the PGA first has to caddy for the other.
“That’s kind of our deal,” Falyn said. “He’s got a year up on me. But either way, it’d be awesome.”
For now, they live in Hobbs with their younger sister Aubrey, and their parents James and Tanya. Falyn still has a lot more schooling left, a lot more junior golf left, before thinking about a chance at the PGA.
But, if her success in the Junior PGA ranks is any indication, Falyn may have a shot.
Falyn remembers how she first became hooked on golf, remembers the first time James took her and Seth out on the links.
“My dad wanted us to try a sport,” Falyn recalled, “and he wanted to take us out to Rock-wind (Community Links), just play a couple holes, once, maybe twice a week. It was fun.”
“It was something I did recreationally since I was in college,” James said. “When they opened up Rockwind and it was so reasonably priced to play, we started taking the kids. And it just kind of exploded.”
Did it ever. By the age of 12 in 2018, seventh-grade Falyn was finishing second at the Southeast New Mexico Junior Open.
“I had never played 18 holes before, the big course,” Falyn said, “so I was kind of surprised I was able to get out there and get second.”
That was just the beginning.
As an eighth-grader in 2019, 13-year-old Falyn made Hobbs’ varsity golf team, earning All-District honors. The Lady Eagles won district, while Falyn took fifth individually and qualified for the state tournament.
That same year, Falyn participated in 11 tournaments of the Sun Country Junior Golf Tour, and had top-five finishes in all
11. She placed first in six of those tournaments, second and third twice each.
Falyn wound up in the top five for the 13-15 year-old age bracket, and won Player of the Year.
But, she wasn’t done crushing it in 2019. At that year’s Drive, Chip & Putt competition, Falyn captured first at the local qualifier tournament in Las Cruces, then competed at the sub-regional tournament in Tucson, Arizona, where she was third in the chip competition.
At the 2019 North Texas Junior PGA Tour, which includes the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Falyn posted two first-place finishes in the 13-14 division, and notched first-place finishes in the Metro Area and West Area competitions.
And, at the 2019 Southeastern New Mexico Junior Open at Rockwind, Falyn turned in another first-place performance.
On it went in 2020.
As a 14-year-old high school freshman, Falyn competed in 12 NTPGA Junior Tour summer tournaments, notching 12 top-10 finishes, 11 of which were first-place.
She was the West Texas points champion and 13-14 year-old division girls champ.
Back at Rockwind for another Southeastern New Mexico Junior Open, Falyn again took first place, thanks to an 80 on the front nine, a career-best 74 on the back.
As a sophomore last fall, 15-year-old Falyn tallied five top-five finishes at all five tournaments in which she participated, and she was West Texas Fall Points Champion for the 15-18 division. The latter was especially impressive because turning 15 propelled Falyn into competition against older, more seasoned golfers.
“She’s competed with girls who potentially have twice as much experience than her,” James said. “They can be 18 and have all that experience.”
Aside from holding her own against formidable competition, Falyn has had fun and has met lots of people.
“She’s made friends everywhere she’s been,” Tanya said.
In addition to everything else going on in her golf world, Falyn has high school golf season to look forward to, as the state Public Education Department paved the way last week for scholastic sports to begin again soon. Golf is slated for an early-April return.
“I’m excited. I think it’ll be fun,” Falyn said. “I’m excited to get back together with my team.”
Aside from all her golfing events, Falyn works as a mentor in the First Tee Program.
2021 promises to be another busy year for Falyn. But, she will have priorities that don’t involve golf.
“We’re studying for the SAT,” Tanya noted. “So until they get the SAT finished, we’re not playing in any tournaments. SAT first.”
Falyn is dedicated to her schoolwork. She’s a 4.0 student taking AP and Pre-AP classes, which should help her career-wise, if the PGA thing doesn’t work out. Falyn is thinking about becoming either a realtor or an orthodontist – the former because she likes people, the latter because she has experienced first-hand what braces can do for people’s self-esteem.
In between high school and a career, Falyn hopes to attend West Texas A&M University. “I just like the location,” she said, “and their golf program.”
This year, she will focus on studying for that SAT. And on golf, of course.
“We’re proud of her,” James said. “She’s achieved a lot of success and built a lot of good relationships from it. We couldn’t be more pleased.”