You can have a great golf life … without golf being your life.
There is no shortage of stories around student-athlete burnout and hyper-specialization. That makes Elle Lundquist’s tale of golf success so refreshing.
“A lot of kids that I play golf with only play golf,” said Lundquist, a rising sophomore at CB East. “They are all home schooled and they move for golf. My parents believe in balance and because of that, I still play travel soccer. It keeps me in shape and having the team as a set group of friends has been very good for me. I’m going to try and play soccer until it gets too much.”
“Balance” doesn’t mean “slacking.” Lundquist still hits a lot of shots in a week. “She spends hours and hours at Jericho (Mountain) working on little aspects,” said East golf coach Chris Burns. “She’ll spend some time at the range, spend some time chipping, spend some time putting and then maybe play a few holes. It’s a lot of hours.”
Lundquist admits that balancing golf, soccer, school and a social life is extremely difficult. Yet her balance produces tremendous results. Last Oct. 19, Lundquist tied for fourth with a +4 (76) in the PIAA girls championship at York’s Heritage Hills Golf Resort. Lundquist was three over par after the first four holes, but was able to put the slow start behind her and play the rest of the course in one over par.
“It can be pretty rough out there sometimes,” she admitted. “It was definitely going downhill in the beginning but I realized that I have more golf to play. I can get back. I guess I did that. Mentally, it’s difficult when things start out badly because you think things are going to stay rough the whole time. But I was very proud that I was able to recover after those first couple of holes.”
Lundquist was one of just three freshmen to qualify for the 36-player field. She had the best finish of any underclasswoman.
Bothu7 of Lundquist’s parents were tennis professionals. It’s ironic that her “love” gravitated toward golf instead. Lundquist’s grandfather gave his granddaughter her first lesson when Lundquist was 4. She competed in her first tournament three years later.
Last September, Lundquist and good friend Sawyer Brockstedt earned spots in the seventh USGA Women’s Amateur Four-Ball in Puerto Rico. The duo shot a 3-under-par 69 to earn the best finish in the qualifier at Berkshire Country Club.
Brockstedt and Lundquist had a respectable showing at last April’s Amateur. Lundquist was a full four years younger than the average competitor.
“It was probably the coolest experience of my career. The way the golf course was set up for us was literally like an PGA tournament,” Lundquist shared. “Most of the women were college athletes. Seeing that I could hang with them gave me the confidence I needed for the rest of the summer.”
“Her biggest strength is probably ball striking. She puts herself in good position off of the tee but she is also very good at finding the green and putting herself in a comfortable spot on the green where she can attack,” Burns noted. “Players at her level aren’t looking at the pins. They are looking at the green and deciding where the safe landing spot is where they can attack the pin. That’s the mindset that’s different from someone like her at the elite level versus Joe Blow trying to hit rockets and hit pins.
“She is very even keeled on the golf course. When I show up to watch her, I don’t know how her round is going by her body language. She could be three under or five over,” Burns added. “It’s fun to watch her hit good shots but she is so paced and so in it one shot at a time that it is very focused.”
Lundquist confessed to being an emotional “disaster” as a younger player before work on the mental side of her game paid dividends. “Since then, I’ve noticed that getting upset and looking back at past holes or shots only makes it worse,” she shared. “I’ve figured out a way to block that out by communicating with the other players in my group or thinking about my dogs at home. There are a lot of things that help me get back to the golfer I am.”
There are three goals that Lundquist hopes to accomplish before her CB East days end. “I was disappointed in my finish at states last year and I would like to win states before I graduate,” she mused. “I would also like to win another AJGA tournament. And obviously playing Division I.”
As this article went to press, Lundquist was competing in the first of her four AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) tournaments prior to the CB East school year starting. Last July, Lundquist won the AJGA Junior All-Star at Quail Creek in Illinois, by shooting a two-under par 218.
“This break has been really nice to see people at home,” Lundquist concluded last week, “but I’m ready to get back at it.”