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Senior Sarah Hoffman keeps her eye on the target during a past match.

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GVL / Archive Senior Sarah Hoffman keeps her eye on the target during a past match.

Bryce Derouin

Despite the individual accolades and on-course success, Sarah Hoffman isn’t your traditional golfer. The senior
excelled at the sport in high school, but early on in her career, the focus was on other sports.

Along with playing soccer her freshman year at Saline High School, as well as basketball where she made All-Conference her junior and senior years, and was named MVP of the team,

Although Hoffman decided against playing golf early in her high school years, she has always enjoyed playing the game, one that she said was influenced by her family.

“I started playing golf when I was four,” she said. “Both of my parents and my older brother played, so I always wanted to play. I remember when I was six, being really upset because you couldn’t play junior golf until you were seven at our club.”

When it came to make a choice about college, Hoffman had some tough decisions to make.

“I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to play golf, basketball or both in college,” Hoffman said. “It was a very difficult decision for me, but I decided GVSU had the most to offer both academically and athletically.”

Hoffman’s experience from playing different sports has played a key role in her golf career.

“Playing sports has helped me to become a mentally tough competitor,” she said. “I may not be hitting the ball exactly how I want to one day, but I don’t give up or let that affect my expectations for myself. Making a birdie from the woods is always more interesting than from the middle of the fairway.”

Her mental toughness is shown in her career at GVSU, as Hoffman has been named to the All-GLIAC first team the past two seasons, and has captured six individual titles over her career.

Head coach Rebecca Mailloux agreed that Hoffman’s history with multiple sports has carried over and helped her in golf.

“She’s an all-around athlete which helps with the game of golf,” she said. “I think just having that athletic mind and instinct helped her in her development in the game of golf. Kind of a late bloomer, but I think it’s helped her out.”

Another reason for Hoffman’s success is her persistent work ethic.

“Sarah is a very hard worker,” Mailloux said. “She is never satisfied with good; she always wants to get better and is always pushing herself. She’s put a lot of time into the game.”

Hoffman is the only senior on the team, but she exhibits good leadership qualities for her teammates.

“Anytime you see someone who works hard at their game and is successful at it and getting good results based on their effort, I think it is a lead by example type of leadership,” Mailloux said. “It is an individual sport, but a team game at the college level. She’s a leader by example and pushes others to work as hard as she does.

Hoffman credits the success she’s been able to have in her career to her parents for always being supportive of her throughout her life.

“My parents have only missed three college tournaments since I was a freshman, and have always been there for me,” she said. “They gave up a lot of their time while I was growing up to drive me to AAU basketball tournaments, soccer games, and golf matches. I could not ask for more supportive parents.

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