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Flagler’s Schindler Recipient of David Toms Overcoming Adversity Award


NORMAN, Okla. – Spencer Schindler, a junior at Flagler, has been named recipient of the David Toms Overcoming Adversity Award.

In the fall of 2007, Schindler’s mother was severely injured while at work. The injury prevented here from working and due to financial constraints the Schindler and his mother moved from Savannah, Ga., to St. Augustine, Fla., to find work. The family moved in with his grandfather. Schindler’s mother found work as a cashier at a grocery store but the family was having difficulty making ends meet. Schindler found a job working 25 hours a week at The First Tee of St. Johns County and the family used much of his paycheck to pay bills.

Schindler’s grandfather, who taught him the game, gave him $250 a month toward a golf fund that allowed him to play in tournaments and get equipment when needed. Working at The First Tee also granted him a place to practice and golf balls and gloves to use. Schindler would practice in the mornings before school or evenings after work.

In December of 2011, his senior year in high school, Schindler committed to Flagler College. Playing at Flagler would allow him to stay close to his mother and his scholarship and the ability to live at home would reduce the costs of attending college. Shortly after committing to Flagler, his grandfather fell and broke his hip. He passed away on April 9, 2012. His death came at time of great transition for Schindler and his mother. He was soon graduating from high school and moving to college that August.

Since his grandfather owned the house he and is mother were living in they were forced to either pay rent or move. The family could not afford the rent and Schindler would no longer be able to assist with the finances, as he would be in college. They lost their home. Throughout the summer of 2012, the family sold everything they could in an effort to make a down payment on a new home. Eventually they were able to afford an RV with one bedroom and a pullout couch.

The First Tee teaches nine core values. Perseverance is the core value that has served Schindler as the backbone of his character. Even through the pain of losing his grandfather and the financial difficulties his family faced, they managed to get by and he was able to play competitively at Flagler. During his sophomore year, Schindler was able improve his stroke average by three shots and was selected as a Division II PING First-Team All-America selection. He was also able to maintain a 3.24 GPA through his first two years of college.

“I am honored to have been selected as the David Toms Award winner,” said Schindler. “The award means a lot to not only me, but also my family and everyone who supports me. I couldn’t be more grateful to see my hard work and dedication recognized. Thank you to David Toms and the GCAA for selecting me. I will continue to work hard and strive to reach my goals.”