BY DAVE LINK
Halls sophomore Lauren Davis stays busy year-around in pursuit of her biggest goal.
“I want to try and play golf in college,” Davis said.
She seems to be on the right path.
Davis, the 2022 5Star Preps Girls Player of the Year, made her second consecutive appearance at state this fall after claiming district and region medalist honors earlier in the postseason.
That came after a good summer of golf.
One of her top tournaments was at Three Ridges Golf Course, where she won the fifth annual Tri-Star Match Play, part of the Sneds Tour.
Davis played on the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour and had a top finish at Oak Ridge Country Club.
“It went pretty well,” Davis said of the summer. “I saw some good improvement.”
ANOTHER BIG POSTSEASON
Davis capped her freshman season at Halls by earning a trip as an individual to the Class AA state tournament.
While her Halls team didn’t reach state, Davis shot 81-77—158, which tied for 12th.
This fall, Davis started the postseason by shooting 73 for the District 3-AA title at Three Ridges Golf Club.
“I’ve played at Three Ridges a lot,” Davis said. “We knew when the season started that going to state was our main goal, so I just tried to play my best for my team.”
Davis did the same the next week, shooting 74 and leading Halls to the Region 2-AA championship at Green Meadow Country Club in Alcoa – and qualifying at state as a team.
“We knew going in there it was tough competition,” Davis said, “and (Green Meadow) being Maryville’s home course, we needed to play our best. I just kept calm and knew that we were good enough to make it in the end, so I just tried to play my best. I didn’t think about the end result of what would happen.”
Davis was Halls’ top finisher in the Class AA state tournament at Sevierville Golf Club.
She shot 73-79—152 for a ninth-place tie as the Lady Red Devils placed fifth in the team standings.
“The first day my putter was hot,” Davis said, “and then it got cold on the second day, and the conditions were a little bit rougher the second day.”
That didn’t dampen the state experience.
“It was great to go again, this time as a team,” Davis said. “I don’t think the feeling kind of hit me until I was on the course. The days leading up to it, I was like, ‘Oh, big deal,’ type of thing, and then it was like, ‘Oh wow, I’m here.’ ”
FOCUS IN OFFSEASON
Davis is a member of Beaver Brook Country Club and has a winter membership at Fairways and Greens, where she takes lessons from Braxton Hunter.
She’s intricate about her training.
“I took results off the season I had and started forming a practice plan,” Davis said. “I’ve really started to focus on my short game, mainly putting. There were some mechanics that I needed to figure out, and it’s gotten a lot better, so I’m just practicing on putting.”
She’s played a few tournaments since the end of high school season, and her next one is New Years Eve in Panama City, Florida.
In the meantime, she will work on several aspects of her game.
“Putting’s the main one,” she said. “This winter I’ve been working on gaining distance off the tee and I’ve been working out a little bit more to get more strength and flexibility.”