First Posted: 5/17/2009
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. After playing with men for much of the fall and spring golf seasons, Surry Community College golfer Courtney Hawks had a chance to play exclusively against women in mid-April at the Region X tournament.
She did so well shes going to do it again, this time on a larger scale.
After winning regionals, Hawks was invited to nationals, held at the LPGA International Legends Golf Course in Daytona Beach, Fla. Sunday served as a practice round. Beginning today, Hawks will be shooting for a national championship.
The 18-hole Legends course plays 6,984 yards from the longest tees for a par of 72. In the leadup to nationals, Hawks did some research and discovered that one of the holes at the course she works at, Silo Run, is similar to a hole at Legends.
Theres a hole here at Silo Run, No. 8, from each tee to the hole plays about the same yardage (as a Legends hole), so Ive been practicing on those tees, Hawks said. So Ill get the feel of how its going to be down there and what clubs to use and everything.
Nonetheless, the course is one designed with professionals in mind. It will also be unfamiliar territory for the Forbush graduate.
Hopefully, I can break maybe 85 or 80 with me being unfamiliar with the course, Hawks said. Theres going to be a lot of good golfers down there, so its a challenge.
Im very excited. Ive never gone this far before (to play golf). I think itll be very neat playing a course in Florida. It seems like its going to be a pretty tough course.
Surry Community College coach Tom Pendergraft, who will make the trip with Hawks and her father, said Hawks has the ability surprise some people.
Ive been told that most of the girls will shoot high 70s low 80s, he said. Courtney shoots about an 82 or 83. Maybe Courtney will really buckle up and shoot better that that.
Because Hawks was the only female to try out for the team at Surry, she ended up playing with the boys for most of the fall. In the spring, Hawks saw more competition against fellow females. While playing the likes of Wake County, Pitt C.C., Louisburg, Johnson C.C. and Caldwell C.C., Hawks only stumbled once against a female.
Pendergraft believes the successful Hawks can serve as a Pied Piper and lead more female golfers to the Knights program.
I really and truthfully believe that if we could get it going, we could really get to the point that theyre looking at scholarship offers from four-year schools.
As for Hawks, she has no plans of leaving any time soon. She said she will play her out her remaining year of eligibility at Surry and then move on. While Pendergraft has received interest on Hawks behalf from four-year schools, she said she needs to work out a few kinks before moving on.
I just want to improve my game so, hopefully, I can improve my game another two years (at a four-year school), Hawks said. Tom has helped me out with my game. Im not ready to go play somewhere else right now. I decided to try and get down into the mid 70s, shave off a good 10 strokes.
Contact Ed Phillipps at [email protected] or 719-1921.