Shooting for the big leagues

Sophomore golfer plans to go pro

Sophomore+Gracie+Henard+swings+her+golf+club.+Colleges+noticed+Henards+abilities+and+potential.

Photo by Oren Smith

Sophomore Gracie Henard swings her golf club. Colleges noticed Henard’s abilities and potential.

Story by Zane Johnston, staff writer

Sophomore Graci Henard has only been on the golf team for two years, but she has been playing since she was only six years old.

“I played multiple sports when I was a little girl, and I just gravitated toward golf,” Henard said. “My dad played golf, so that also had a little bit of influence.”

Henard is planning on becoming a professional golfer — she has already been noticed by many colleges.

“I plan on getting a full ride to a big college, and then I want to go pro. I have some that are kind of interested; I’m going to Auburn golf camp in December,” Henard said. “I want to go to A&M. I’ve also been on a couple of visits [to colleges]; I’ve been to Arkansas and Vanderbilt on unofficial visits.”

One of the ways she accomplished this is by focusing on continuously improving as a golfer.

“My biggest accomplishment is probably only shooting 80 once this season, so I’ve been close to par,” Henard said. “My handicap — the average of all your scores — last year was an eight. This year it’s a 2.6. I’ve improved a lot.”

According to the United States Golf Association, only 5.43 percent of golfers have a handicap index lower than 2.9, putting Henard well above average. However, a large part of what matters to Henard is the comradery and competition among the golf team, not just the scores.

“My favorite part is probably just competing with all of the guys,” Henard said. “There’s not a lot of girl competition nearby, so I go out of state to compete with girls, but I like getting to compete with guys and showing them who’s boss.”

While Henard enjoys the thrill of competition, she also expressed her love for the game itself.

“Every stroke counts, so if you get a bad shot, you have to take the shot and just hit your next shot,” Henard said. “That’s the cool part about golf: what you shoot is what you shoot; your scores don’t lie.”