With high school graduation looming, the Curry athlete had yet to sign at the collegiate level.
Fikes had tried out for the Birmingham Southern basketball team, but hadn’t heard back from the school.
Just when he was beginning to lose hope, Point University golf coach Steve Patton gave Fikes a call. Patton wanted Fikes to be part of his inaugural team at the school.
“I was getting really nervous, then, by the grace of God, I got a call from coach Patton. I ended up visiting there and I loved it,” said Fikes, who signed with the NAIA school recently.
Patton has been on the job for just two months. Since then, he was been touring tournaments in the South and calling high school coaches looking for talent.
“I have made recruiting a matter of prayer,” Patton said. “I needed to close the class with another strong guy or two and that’s when I found out about Spencer from (Curry golf coach) Mike Elliott. I don’t think it’s by chance. I was looking for a very specific player, not just a great golfer. I was looking for a student with good grades who is just a good, all-around kid. Spencer fit that profile.”
Fikes has been the leader of the Curry High School golf team for the last two years. He made the state tournament as an individual in 2011 and advanced to the regional tournament as an individual this season.
Fikes was a member of the All-Walker County Tournament golf team after placing second in the event. He was also one of the top scorers on Curry’s basketball team.
“Basketball is my first love, but golf is the sport I have a better future in, and I can always play intramural basketball at college,” said Fikes, whose brother Hunter plays golf at Falkner University, an NAIA school in Montgomery.
“I didn’t really want to play on the same team as my brother. I just wanted to go somewhere and play. Now I will get the chance to compete against him.”
Point University is in its first year at West Point.
The school opened as Atlanta Christian College in 1937 before moving to west Georgia a year ago. Starting in the fall, the school is adding men’s and women’s golf to its athletic department. The school is also a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association.
“This is our first year so the opportunity will be incredible for Spencer to come in. I would expect him to be one of the leaders on my team,” Patton said. “We are an NAIA school, but we’ll be playing against Division II and III schools. We’re going to play in tournaments with larger schools. Our guys will get all the competition they want.”
Fikes visited the school two days before signing.
“I was really impressed with the campus. It’s not a four-wall campus. It’s really spread out. Some of the campus is in Georgia and some of it is in Alabama. After I visited on a Wednesday, coach gave me a week to decide. I called him on Friday and said I was interested,” said Fikes, who also likes his new golf coach.
“He’s got a great personality and he knows what he’s talking about. He’s got some big goals. He knows what he wants for us in the first year.”
Patton has an extensive golf resume. He worked as the director of golf and as golf professional at Limestone Spring Golf Course in Oneonta,Tannehill National Golf Course in McCalla and Greystone Golf Club in Birmingham. Before coming to Point, he was the assistant men’s and women’s golf coach for Truett-McConnell College.