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Family ties important for young golfers

Staff writer

Leah Brunner family loves golf but the Centre freshman never shared their passion for the sport until this fall.

“Almost every person in my family plays golf,” she said. “I picked up a club, but I was probably half the size of it at the time, and I never played golf before.”

Brunner’s parents suggested she go out for the team this year. She couldn’t join sooner because there was no middle school team.

“It’s very entertaining,” she said. “People think it’s boring, but when you’re playing on the course and having a good game it goes by very quickly.”

Brunner finds that it makes a difference whether she’s golfing alone or with other people.

“It keeps you pretty happy, peppy, and optimistic when you’re around other people to support you,” she said. “A lot of it’s about the people you’re playing with.”

Jorja Peterson agrees that golf partners with make a big difference, particularly with how she gets along with other teams she may be paired with.

“If you have a good team during the meet, you have a better chance of doing well,” she said. “If you have a team that’s very rude to you, you have less chance of doing well, because you have a bunch of thoughts going through your head.”

Peterson lived near a golf course while growing up in Council Grove, she but her father never pushed her to pick up a club and join him.

Allowing Peterson to make her own decision made her much more willing to join when she was ready.

“It was big knowing I wasn’t going to get pressured into playing sports I really didn’t want to play,” she said. “With him saying I’m not forced to play and that if I want to play I can, he’s been a huge supporter.”

Peterson’s father sometimes volunteers to help the players with their swings and attends almost every meet.

“It’s a bigger boost,” she said. “Last year my dad couldn’t make any of my meets and it really hurt my self-confidence. When he started coming to my meets it really boosted that I could do better.”

Brunner doesn’t just take pride in her performance on the links. She also is happy to have only broken five golf tees this season.

“I have a pretty good record of not losing my balls or breaking my tees,” she said. “I’m proud of it, and I don’t even know why.”

Brunner has confidence in her ability to drive the ball well off the tee, but is working to cut down on her number of squandered shots.

“If it happens a lot and you’re in a competition it can get a little disappointing,” she said.

Peterson is working to qualify for regionals. To reach that level the next step is for her to improve her setup game.

“Since last year my drives and fairway shots have gotten a lot better,” she said. “Mostly I need to work on my short game, my chipping and putting because that’s what is hard for me.”

One thing Brunner and Peterson agree will be difficult is when Centre’s two seniors graduate.

“I’m really good friends with them and I’ve known them the entire time I’ve gone to school,” Brunner said. “It’s going to be pretty sad when they leave the team, but I think there are going to be more people coming.”

Last modified Oct. 8, 2020

 

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