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Female golfer carries tradition

Female golfer carries tradition

By Wayne Epps
Sophomore Taylor Harris lines up at the tee for another hole. Caught in the heat of competition, she and her teammates strive to play the best round of their lives. The only difference between Harris and her teammates is that she is female.

The golf team practices at Jordan Point Golf Club Monday through Thursday. Practices consist of playing nine holes of the course. The team usually competes twice a week. In a match, players play in three groups of four consisting of two players from one school and two from the other.

Harris has played golf for two years. This season she is the second-ranked player on the team. She was influenced to start playing by her cousin, 2010 graduate Aaron Harris. He also played on the team, and has been playing golf for five years.

“[Aaron] always played, and I thought it would be neat to play with him,” Taylor said.

“[Taylor] has come a long way since she first started playing. Hopefully I had a good influence on her game,” Aaron said in a Facebook interview.

Taylor fits in just fine with the rest of the team. She enjoys interacting with her teammates, and has created good friendships with them. She is treated like just another one of the guys.

“I have actually made the best friends I have ever had; Dalton Jolly, and Jeremy Carrell who graduated last year, and Evan [Montgomery], and Ryan [O’Hare], and all of them. They are all my best friends, and I really enjoy it,” Taylor said.

“She is just one of the team, she is not really any different,” senior Dalton Jolly said.

There may be good friendships between Taylor and her teammates, but that does not take away from heat of the competition for spots on the team.

“I have known [Taylor] for two or three years. [Our friendship] has been a pretty competitive thing, because we have always fought for the same spots,” senior Ryan O’Hare said.

Even though Taylor is the only female golfer on the team this season, there have been others in the past.

“I have been [coaching] for twenty-seven years; so this is like the third girl I have had on the team,” Golf Coach Earl Burton said.

Golf is a family affair for the Harris’. Not only did Taylor’s cousin Aaron play on the team, Taylor has another cousin, freshman Adam Harris, who is also playing this season.

“They [the Harris family] are a very close-knit family, and I think that is one of the reasons why [Taylor] came out,” Burton said.

“[Taylor and I] still play together a lot. We play almost every week together, and we are always competitive because I cannot let her beat me,” Aaron said.

The amount of the golf course that female golfers play in competition is smaller in comparison to the amount played by males. In most high-school matches, players play nine holes of the golf course.

“The girls play eighty-five percent of what the guys do. So it is shorter, and it is like that all the way through district, regional, and state,” Burton said.

When Taylor steps out onto the golf course, it is all business. She works very hard and tries to do her best on every part of her game.

“[She is a] hard worker, she is very intense, I think she gets that from her mom and dad, but she is very dedicated to golf,” Burton said.

“No part of my game is probably the strongest; I work hard on every part. I go to practice every day, I hit on the range, I putt, I chip, I do what I can do to be the best I can,” Taylor said.

Male or female, it does not matter. Taylor is talented at her craft, and the sky is the limit on her ability to be a great golfer.

“It is unlimited. She has the skills, and if she keeps working at it, she can be very, very good,” Burton said.

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  • J

    Jessica MarshallNov 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    Kudos to Taylor Harris for overcoming the odds. She’s good at what she does and she shouldn’t let being the minority get in her way. She should keep up the great work and prove that women are just as welll at golf as guys.

  • T

    Tessa AllenNov 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    It is always good to see a girl doing well in a male dominated sport. I hope she keeps playing and representing the female athlete so well. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  • C

    Carrie YoungNov 5, 2010 at 9:27 am

    It is really great that she has the courage to be the only girl on the team. If I did something like that I would be too nervous, but it sounds like she had friends on the team which made it easier.

  • D

    Diana O.Nov 3, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Great article Wayne for thinking outside what people “want” to see instead of the typical news. Not too often will we find a woman golfer. I love the fact she broke the gender barrier in golf at PG. I’m actually quite excited to see what will happen next year. I am ecstatic for Taylor not letting a word stop her from leading her dreams.

  • R

    Raya GirardNov 3, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Golf is one of the few sports that people are able to continue to play throughout their life. You would think you would see more husband/ wife teams out on the green because this sport is truly for everyone. Sadly, there is an age requirement to drive the cart because my dad took me golfing a couple of times and I was unable to drive the cart which turned me off of the game.

  • T

    Trey CarterNov 3, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    I think that it is amazing for a female to rise to the challenge of golf. Especially breaking a gender barrier in a male dominated sport. She is rising to the occasion, and succeeding. Good luck in the future.

  • J

    Jamar JohnsonOct 28, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    When it comes to family affairs, Taylor is definitely keeping this one alive. Being the only girl to do golf is pretty big. It isn’t a popular sport that you hear about girls in high school playing. It is hard enough to find a segment on ESPN about female golfers. I think it is marvelous that she plays golf and I hope she does well the rest of the season.

  • J

    Jessica TaylorOct 28, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    I admire Taylor for being willing to step up and not be afraid to do something that she loves just because it’s more popular with the guys. I also think it’s cool how other people in her family play too. So it’s a good way for them to stay close.

  • A

    Autrey J.Oct 28, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    I like this article. Its really interesting to me since I played on the team with Taylor but I have never heard this much about how she started and all of that. Articles like this about a bunch of different athletes would be cool.

  • C

    Chris BaeOct 28, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    That girl sure has guts to be the person to stand out and play the sport that she enjoys playing, despite the fact that she is the only girl among a bunch of guys. It is also good to know that she has a close family.

  • S

    shelby reynoldsOct 28, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    I think its great how she is the only female on the team and is treated both fairly and respectfully. Not only that but the guys really welcomed her to the team. Its good to be a team who demonstrates good sportsman ship but as well as not letting your freindship get in the way of winning. I love to hear that they dont allow that.

  • R

    Rachel ArnoldOct 28, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    The fact that Taylor had the courage to even try out for the team, being that it’s an all male team this year, was very impressive. Also I think it’s quite an honor to be the third girl in 27 years to join the team. The article said that she is currently ranked 2nd on the team, so if she works hard she might beat all the boys and win one for the girls!

  • A

    Alex MartinezOct 28, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    It is good to see someone doing something that they love to do and not worrying about their gender while doing it. Good luck to you, Taylor, during golf season this year; put those guys in their place.

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    Cara LucyOct 27, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    I think it’s amazing that Taylor has the courage to go out and play in a generally male dominant high school sport. She seems to really enjoy it too! I wish more girls would look into this sport.

  • L

    Laken AdamsOct 27, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I think it’s really cool that Taylor is the only girl on the golf team. What is even cooler is that she gets treated the same as the guys. I like how the article tells about the importance of family to Taylor. I also like how it shows that girls are able to participate in a sport that has revolved around mainly guys in our school.

  • O

    Olivia TritschlerOct 27, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    I like how this focuses on a girl. It gives a little background on her family and some of the other golf players, but mostly it is about girl power. This is a great way to show that girls can participate in sports that usually people think of as “guy sports”. It is great to see that she isn’t treated differently and that there is equality among the teammates.

  • M

    Madison GuidryOct 27, 2010 at 11:21 am

    I think it is really cool that she was willing to go out and be the only girl. I like how she was niot treated any differently than the guys. It is neat that it is a family event and it can bring them closer.