Q&A with Senior Ava Hedrick in National Golf Month Regarding Her Experience with the Sport

Jillian Moore

What made you want to start playing?


“Well my dad played (golf) growing up but he never got into the serious stuff, like the tournaments for the high school team, so he just wanted his kids to try it. And I started around age four, so I didn’treally have a choice then. So I just did it, but as I got older and started playing tournament play, I really loved the competitive side of it, so I just kept playing.”


What unique challenges do golfers face?


“I think one of the things that a lot of people don’t see is the mental side of it, because you’re pining for four or five hours, and you think a lot in your head during that entire time. So if you’re not playing great or you’re swinging a little weird, you can definitely get some negative thoughts in your head and it’s really hard to overcome those. But if you have a positive mindset, it makes golf really fun. I think that’s one of the things that people don’t see because you can’t read each other’s thoughts, obviously. So I think that’s pretty unique.”


So how does being on this CHS team help you improve your skills?


“I went to a private middle school and we didn’t have a golf team or anything. So Carmel was my first team sport, and I really loved the team aspect. I think each year I’ve played, there’s been new people come in. I think it’s really fun to push each other, and during practice we push, we play games and stuff. I think that’s helped my competitive side, to just want to do better really and to keep practicing, not only for myself but for the team.”


How does the CHS golf team’s smaller size, compared to other sports, affect the members?


“Yeah, it’s definitely smaller. I think we have 14 people, mainly varsity and JV, but varsity there’s only five people. So I think it really counts when you play because during matches you only take four scores. So it, I guess it puts more pressure but also you’re playing individually but in your head, you just want to do good for the team. I think that puts more pressure on the girls and makes them a little more nervous, so it affects them a little bit more. But I think having that team aspect in being such a little team, we get closer in it. I think it pushes us even more.”


What’s your favorite part of playing golf? 


“Probably during the season, it’s just so much fun being a part of a team and making new friends every year. I’ve always been a really competitive person, so it’s just fun to play and meet other people. I’d say practices are also really fun because we play the games like I said, and it’s always fun just getting to be with the team.”


Has COVID had a significant effect on golfing? 


“I’d say this summer or last summer, we could still play tournaments individually, but during the season it definitely affected us because we always do a banquet, or after matches we would hang out or go out to eat or go out to lunch. We definitely couldn’t do that at any time at all. We had a banquet at the end of the year and we had a senior night for the seniors, but we had to combine those and we had to do it somewhere where we could stay six feet apart, rather than doing that at someone’s house, so it’s definitely weird. Wearing masks on a hot bus really sucked. But we still made it really fun, but it definitely changed some aspects of playing.”


What advice would you give to students who want to try golfing?


“I’d say to definitely try. I think it’s really fun, and you can definitely make friends really easily. Freshman year when I went into it, I didn’t really know anyone. I had a sister on the team so it was a little different, but if you don’t know anyone, it starts a little before school so it gives you a chance to find some friends, someone that you know. I think it’s a really fun team sport so it’s a really good opportunity to make friends.”