Lakers trod on hallow golf ground

Tate Baker

Not many people can say that they have had the privilege to play on the same golf course as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods, not to mention all the past and present pros that have taken to the links of historic St. Andrews golf course in Scotland.

Luckily for fellow Grand Valley State University women golfers junior Kelly Hartigan and senior
Cassady Kauble, they had to chance to do so during their trip overseas this summer.

“It was really a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Hartigan said. “Traveling to Europe and playing at
some of the most historic golf courses in the world is something that I’m never going to forget.”

The experience of it all is what head coach Rebecca Mailloux wants her young golfers to gain most
from this trip, as they may never have an opportunity like this again.

“This was my dad’s first ever time playing at St. Andrews,” Mailloux said. “With that said, these girls
have such a rare chance to do something that many golfers will never be able to do in their

This wasn’t any ordinary vacation for Hartigan and Kauble as they basically had a week straight of
golf from sun up to sundown, competing against a slew of never-before-seen competition.

“I played seven rounds of golf in basically six days,” Hartigan said. “It was definitely demanding
dealing with certain conditions that I don’t normally play in back home.”

European golf conditions take a certain mental capacity to battle through the unrelenting winds and
ongoing storm fronts that consistently batter the European coasts. Playing a week in these
conditions is something that GVSU’s golfers will learn from and take back with them to the states.

“More than anything it was a big learning experience for us,” Kauble said. “The weather was
unusual and difficult to play in, even during the more pleasant days. We never really experience
that back at home.”

Gaining these unique experiences and different styles of play won’t only improve their golf games,
but will also give them a better appreciation and understanding of the game.

“Being able to play on such respected golf courses such as St. Andrews really makes you appreciate
the position that Grand Valley has put me in,” Hartigan said. “It’s something I hope to build off of
and get better from.”

While this trip was an opportunity for two current Lakers to gain experience and build their golf
game, it also served as a time to take a step back and truly enjoy the game that they love.

“During the season, it can become mentally demanding day in and day out as we are competing for
Great Lakes Intercollegiate Conference Championships and the National Championships,” Kauble
said. “It was nice to take a step back and enjoy just playing golf on some of the most recognizable courses in the world.”