BYU women’s golf team stays the course

Sophomore Lea Garner follows through with her swing during an early season invitational. Photo courtesy BYU Athletics
Sophomore Lea Garner follows through with her swing during an early season invitational. Photo courtesy BYU Athletics

It’s a Friday afternoon on BYU campus; while most students are planning to relax for the weekend, Lea Garner is getting ready for another plane ride.

A member of the women’s golf team, Garner will spend a lot of time this semester away from school with her seven teammates.

A native of Washington Terrace, Utah, and a graduate of Bonneville High School, Garner is the top-ranked individual golfer on the women’s golf team.

Most of her weekends will consist of getting up early and playing a practice round on Saturday morning. Sunday, Garner and the other golfers will go to church and do other Sabbath activities. On Monday, the team will get up and be at the tournament by 6 a.m., where the girls will play two rounds of golf. The first day of the tournament includes 10 hours of carrying a heavy golf bag around a big course. Tuesday, the final day of the tournament, will consist of another round of golf (18 holes) and a plane ride home.

“It takes a lot of hard work,” said Lea’s dad, Blair Garner. “People don’t realize how much these girls put into this.”

During the practice round on Saturday morning, a lot of the golfers will meticulously map out each shot they will take during the tournament.

“Some will even bring levels to the green to be able to tell the angle of the shot,” Blair Garner said. “It is pretty intense.”

Lea Garner said she doesn’t go to such great lengths to map out the course

“I just try to get a feel for the green and go for it,” she said.

She can stick with the way she has been doing things. In the tournaments she has played in as a Cougar, she has finished in the top 20 thirteen times. Her record is a result of hard work and a love for the game that her whole family shares.

Lea Garner has been playing golf since she was 5 years old. Her dad is a high school golf coach in Ogden, and she has a brother who played golf for Bellevue University in Nebraska.

“We all love golf,” Lea Garner said. “Me, my brothers and dad play together whenever we can.”

Lea Garner cherishes the simple pleasures of the game when she plays. The top reason she says her favorite tournament is Gold Mountain is because it is “a super pretty course.” The fact that she took fifth in that tournament is almost an afterthought to her.

Lea Garner said she also enjoys being around her team.

“Because there are only eight of us we all get to know each other really well,” she said. “We play a lot of card games and eat frozen yogurt. It is a lot of fun.”

So far this season, the team has had to deal with bad weather during two tournaments. Rain delays at the Hobble Creek Fall Classic and also at the Dick McGuire Invitational have made for a soggy start of the season. But there is still a lot of golf to play. The women’s golf team has 11 tournaments left for the 2014–2015 season.

The team’s next tournament will be at the Cougar Cup in Pullman, Washington, this Monday and Tuesday.

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