Arlynn Spence is at home on a golf course.

What You Need To Know

  • Spectrum Bay News 9 is proud to honor our November Scholar Athlete for the 2020-2021 school year, Arlynn Spence from Lakeland High School in Polk County.

  • Arlynn Spence received $1,000 scholarship for school of her choice

  • For more about our Scholar Athlete Program, including rules and submission form, click here

But it wasn’t always home sweet home.

"I didn’t like it at first," Spence said. "But I grew to like it, grew to love it."

And the Lakeland High senior grew into the sport to become of the top golfers in the state of Florida. How good? Let’s just say Arlynn put on a show for Charles Barkley that left the former NBA star and golfer wannabe amazed.

She brings a good mix of a mental and physical approach to a sport that is not easy.

"She’s an excellent combination of both. That’s why golf fits Arlynn so well," said her mother, Brandi Spence.

That fit strikes a nerve in Arlynn. She has this constant need to be the best.

"I love competition," she says.

Spence’s competitive nature carries over into the classroom where she boasts an impressive 4.1 GPA as one of the Dreadnaughts top seniors.

"I love to try to do my best in everything and just do the best that I can, so definitely in the classroom as well," she said.

PHOTO: Arlynn Spence and Lakeland Mayor Bill Mutz. Spence received $1,000 toward the school of her choice, which is Florida International

The second of four children, Spence caught the competitive bug early with her siblings. And after tagging along with her dad to the golf course, that soon became the outlet to let her competitive juices flow.

"Arlynn is tremendously competitive. But I say we breed competition in our house," said Brandi Spence.

Golf has driven Arlynn and also taken her places she could only dream of.

"I realized I wanted to play college golf when I was about 13. And ever since then, that’s what I’ve been training for and what I’ve been working towards," Spence said.

That hard work is paying off. Arlynn signed a letter of intent for a full-ride scholarship to Florida International University. She’s taking her golf talents to south Florida to compete for the Panthers. But the golf program wasn’t the primary reason she picked FIU.

"Education is the most important thing to me. My main thing when looking for a college and thankfully, FIU does," she said.

That major? Sports broadcasting. But before she tries her hand at commentating about sports, she’s going to keep doing her thing on the golf course. The dream? To one day play on the LPGA Tour. And given Arlynn’s competitive nature, don’t count her out.

"Right now I want to get my education and then after that, maybe see if there is a spot on the Tour for me," she said.