Daniel Summerhays: Mormon Athlete
Daniel Summerhays is a retired professional golfer on the PGA Tour. He was born on December 2, 1983, and raised in Farmington, Utah. He was a two-time Utah State Amateur Champion (2000 and 2001) while still in high school. Despite the golf community's warning that he was jeopardizing his career, he set golf aside for two years to serve as a full-time missionary in Chile for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Summerhays believes he learned priceless lessons in patience and hard work while serving in Chile. Within six months of returning home, he was back to his pre-mission level of play.
- “My improvement in golf was exponential,” he said. “I’ll never regret my decision to serve a mission. I still have lifelong friends from Chile and mission companions that I’m still in touch with.”
Summerhays announced his retirement in 2020. The Church News reported his decision to retire:
- For starters, the younger guys ascending the ranks of pro golf “are bigger, faster and stronger than me,” he said, modestly. “I’m just not as good as I need to be to play at the highest level week after week.”
- But Summerhays is also eager to step away from the sport’s grueling travel schedules. He’s had his fill of airports, hotels, rental cars and take-out dinners. “Physically, it’s very demanding — I can definitely feel it in my body.”
- Most importantly, he’s excited to spend more time with Emily and their growing children while serving in his ward and community.
Summerhays played golf for Brigham Young University where he was a first-team All-American. He turned professional in 2007; the week before he turned pro, he was the first amateur to win on a nationwide tour at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business finance in 2008 from BYU.
As of May 2015, his official world golf ranking was 110th. In 2012, he tied for fifth at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, tied for seventh at the Puerto Rico Open, and tied for fourth at the Memorial Tournament in June. During his PGA tour career (as of early 2015), he had finished in second place twice, finished in the top ten twelve times, and finished 26 times in the top 25. His professional career highlights include an unforgettable 2016 season that included top-8 finishes in a pair of golf’s major tournaments — the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open.
Post-retirement, he plans to teach and coach golf at his alma mater, Utah’s Davis High School. He and his wife, Emily, are the parents of three sons and one daughter.
His family of professional golfers includes brother Boyd, who played on the Canadian Tour, his uncle Bruce Summerhays, Champions Tour player, and cousins Carrie Summerhays Roberts and Bruce P. Summerhays Jr.