In every high school sport, there is a student-athlete who ends up being more talented and therefore makes more points in a match, or scores more touchdowns, but in this case, she makes a lot of “hole-in-one”. In this issue, our athlete is Tatyana Carlson.
Carlson has played around with the golf clubs since she can remember but started taking it seriously a little later on. Her father was the one who encouraged her to play in the first place.
“My dad encouraged me to start playing. He took me golfing when he would play with his friends and that is how I started to get into it. I started to play competitively around 12 or 13 in the City Leagues and then moving on to the NNJGA,” said Carlson.
The NNJGA is the Northern Nevada Junior Golf Association in which has different tournaments in Northern Nevada. If athletes take the sport seriously, this organization is appealing to colleges. While playing in the Washoe tournament this past summer, she managed to make it to the finale.
“In some tournaments, there are qualifiers to go into bigger and more competitive tournaments, like the Optimist. I participated in the Washoe tournament, which was to qualify to go play in the Optimist. But in order to go, you had to win and I ended up winning the tournament. Since I won, basically my whole trip was paid for except for food and if I went to a gift store,” said Carlson.
Her high school golf years have flown by, and have definitely been worth the dedication.
“[They were] definitely memorable. I’ve made so many more great memories and friendships than I thought I would. My first two years, I was more of an introvert because of was scared of the upperclassmen, but these past two years I was more outgoing and was stepping up to be a leader. I honestly think that these past two years were the best. It’s just fun,” said Carlson.
Playing the sport has really impacted the way Carlson deals with situations on and off the course.
“Golf has taught me that it is 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical. If you think you’re going to hit a bad shot, then nine times out of 10 you’re going to hit a bad shot. Or if you have a bad attitude then your whole game goes to crap. It taught me that I can’t control the uncontrolled. I’m not going to hit a perfect shot every time but I can control how I’m going to hit a perfect shot every time; I can control how I deal with the situation,” said Carlson.
Carlson recently went to the State competition in Reno, Nevada and ended up winning the championships. Her winning shot was when she eagled a par 5, which is when you receive a three on a hole that averages five shots.
“When I realized I won, I was stunned. At first, I didn’t know what to think because I was shocked but also at that same moment, I was amazed at how all of my hard work paid off. It was probably one of the greatest moments of feeling proud of myself.
Carlson still isn’t sure where she would like to go after high school but she knows she wants to play golf in college.
“I definitely want to play in college but I honestly don’t know where. I’m talking to LCSC (Lewis-Clark State College) and they offered me something so that’s pretty good in my eyes. Most likely, I’ll go there unless a different college wants to pay everything for me,” said Carlson.