Golfer keeps family tradition alive, looks toward greatness

LYFORD — Jacob Serna’s got golf in his blood.

For him, the game’s a family tradition.

Serna’s grandfather taught his father, who taught him the strokes.

“He taught me to really work hard and not take anything for granted,” said Serna, 16, a junior at Lyford High School.

After an undefeated season, Serna won the regional competition April 12 to go on to the state championships for the second year in a row.

Last year, he settled for an 18th-place finish in Austin.

But this year, he’s ready to take home the state title.

“Last year, it was for experience. It was to get my feet in the water,” Serna said. “This year, it’s strictly business. This year, my goal is to win it all.”

At about 6, he learned his first strokes.

Two years later, he began competing.

“I love the game,” he said.

Guadalupe Serna, his grandfather, started the family tradition.

Now, Lupe Serna II’s a golf pro who’s teaching his son what it takes to win.

For years, Serna has teed off on his father’s golf course, the Raymondville Municipal Golf Course.

“It’s one fairway, one green, one hole at a time,” he said.

Serna thinks he’s got what it takes to be a champ.

“You’ve got to be smart and you’ve got to be patient,” he said. “You’ve got to be short-minded. You’ve got to keep moving forward.”

On weekdays, he practices from 6 p.m. to dusk.

“On weekends, I practice pretty much all day,” he said.

Serna’s taking his father’s lessons to heart.

“Putting is the main thing,” he said. “You can be the longest hitter in the world but if you’re short game of putting isn’t good, it doesn’t really matter.”

This year, he’s ready to make his mark with a win in Austin.

“This year, it’s expected of me,” Serna said.