Times Staff Writer
GHS Girls Golf — It’s hard to tell how much a person will enjoy participating in a sport by simply watching it on television.
While Gunnison High School (GHS) senior Taylor Alton loved watching golf tournaments on television growing up, she never picked up a club until she became a student at GHS.
“I have lived across from the golf course my entire life but had never played golf until my freshman year of high school,” said Alton. “My dad is a great golfer and taught me almost everything I know about golf. He was the one who got me to start playing golf and I am very grateful for him.”
Alton fell in love with the sport early in her high school career — despite not expecting to accomplish much.
“Even after a bad day at school, playing golf with my friends at golf practice was always the highlight of my day,” she said.
However, Alton’s expectations changed her sophomore year when she qualified for state.
“I was not expecting to play at regionals that year, but when I got the opportunity I was very nervous,” said Alton.
The nerves didn’t last long for Alton. On her first hole at Battlement Mesa Golf Course, she recorded a birdie — her first ever — which propelled her through the rest of the day, ultimately leading to qualifying for state.
“I really didn’t know that I had the ability to qualify for state,” said Alton. “I didn’t even know that I would be playing the tournament until the day before. That day I really proved to myself that anything is possible with hard work.”
Since then, Alton has qualified for state once more and will be shooting to qualify for a third time on Tuesday, May 7. She will have a slight edge with Regionals held at Dos Rios golf course.
“I have a really good chance of qualifying and possibly placing,” said Alton. “I just want to swing well and have fun. If I can do that, the score will come. I really hope to qualify for state.”
With one tournament left — hopefully two with a state berth — Alton still has a long and successful career as a member of the GHS girls golf team.
While she doesn’t plan to pursue competitive golf at the collegiate level, Alton intends to keep playing with family and friends.
“I would like to thank my family for all the support throughout the years,” said Alton. “I would also like to give a shoutout to my coaches, Paul Vickers, Chris Alton and Kelly Meldrum for teaching me how to be mentally tough in golf and in life.”
The Cowboys wrapped up the regular season on Tuesday. They traveled to Devil’s Thumb golf course to compete in what was supposed to be their home invitational. As of press time, results were not available.
(Brandon Warr can be reached at 970.641.1414 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)