Freshman business major Claire Kirby grew up riding in the golf cart as her dad played on the grounds of the Lubbock Country Club. This year, she made her collegiate debut at the opening University of Dallas women’s golf tournament.
Kirby is excited to begin something new in her freshman year. As she said, Kirby wants “to leave a legacy here at UD,” and to represent UD on an official team.
Kirby was familiar with golf after watching her dad play all her life. At Christ the King Cathedral High School in Lubbock, Kirby began playing golf competitively as a freshman. She was the only female golf player competing as a medalist. Instead of combining scores with her teammates, she played for individual places.
After some years of playing solo in high school, Kirby was encouraged during her job at Lubbock Country Club to continue playing golf in college. She had kept in contact with Coach Garrett Smith for a year before she agreed to participate in the new UD women’s golf team.
“I love the team!” said Kirby. “We’ve had a good time.”
Kirby has found her teammates to be supportive.
Kirby’s golf teammates are sophomore Tiffany Han (who played as the only UD women’s golf medalist last year) and fellow freshmen, Emma Christensen and Kaylei Richardson.
They began the golf season at the Lady Bulldog Fall Classic, hosted by Texas Lutheran University on September 9-10. In total, the UD women’s golf team scored 804 at last week’s golf tournament, placing them in 10th place. As an individual, Kirby shot a 97 in the first round on Monday and 87 in the second round on Tuesday.
Kirby is looking to improve her golf swing from her round last week.
“I know I could do better,” said Kirby. She appreciates the advice that Smith and new Coach Megan Thothong offer.
One challenge the small team has to face is that there are only four players. If there were five scores tallied from the UD women’s golf team, the worst score would be dropped from the total. The girls, however, are more driven to score their best as individuals.
The UD women’s golf team regularly practices at Las Colinas Country Club, but while the location undergoes construction, they are practicing at Luna Vista, a municipal golf course in Dallas. Since Sept. 2, practice for the women’s golf team occurs for 2-2.5 hours daily, except on the day immediately following a golf tournament.
The individual responsibility which golf demands helps Kirby apply similar patience and focus to other parts of her life.
“You compete more with yourself than with anybody else,” said Kirby, recognizing that competitive golf has shaped her perspective on life.