Golf

May 19, 2013

Prep golf: Blair will hone skills on greens

Even as a freshman, Jocelyn Blair was making a name for herself on the area girls prep golf scene despite having played the game for only a year.

And when her dad, Seaburn, had taken her out on the course for the first time, it hadn’t been love at first sight then, either.

“My dad has always played, but I didn’t think that it was fun at all,” Blair said. “I played basketball and soccer and other things, and I didn’t think that golf was my thing.”

Turns out she was wrong.

Now she and teammate Dara Dople will get the chance to play the game in college.

Blair, a three-time member of The Daily Citizen’s All-Area Spring Team — this year’s team has not yet been selected — recently signed a letter of intent to play at Reinhardt University, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics program in Waleska. She and teammate Dara Dople will both play at the next level, with Dople going to Maryville (Tenn.) College, an NCAA Division III program.

“They have been talking to me since about this time last year, and I was very interested,” Blair said. “It isn't too far away from home, and it just felt right. I like the coach and it is a good program.”

Under coach Dan Mullins, the 2001 recipient of the Georgia PGA Professional of the Year award, the Lady Eagles have a young roster without a senior in this year’s lineup. There are also no players from outside of the metro Atlanta area on this year’s roster. Reinhardt competes in the Appalachian Athletic Conference and plays its home matches at Callahan Golf Links in Cherokee County.

“They have a lot of positive things going on with their program,” Blair said. “They were second in their conference last year, and they are all very competitive. I don't want to go somewhere just to go. I want to try and compete.”

She has been competitive from the start, and even though she may not have liked the game when introduced to it, she quickly realized she had a talent.

“I guess I started decent at it and I could hit long drives,” Blair said. “I started winning things and that was really fun. I like the fact that it was an individual sport. I like team sports, but golf is all on your shoulders. I started playing in summer tournaments and that is when it got more serious.”

As a sophomore, she finished third in the Region 7-2A tournament and earned her first bid to the Class 2A state tournament. She kept progressing from there. As a junior, she was the Region 7-2A runner-up, captured medalist honors at the Lady Conasauga Cup and finished fourth in the Class 2A state tournament.

During her senior season, Blair has already been the medalist for Region 5-3A — she shot an 85 at Field’s Ferry in Calhoun — and will lead the Lady Mountaineers as they compete in the Class 3A tournament Monday at Chateau Elan in Braselton. She also recently had a hole-in-one at Gatlinburg (Tenn.) Country Club on the 197-yard, par-3 17th hole. Blair’s ace came two weeks after legendary former University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt recorded a hole-in-one on the same hole.

As for Dople, while she was considering her college choices, playing golf at the next level was never part of her plans.

“I was very surprised,” said Dople, who is the No. 2 golfer for North Murray with a scoring average in the high 90s. “I had been interested in Division II schools and didn't think I was good enough to play. When coach Ron Waters got in touch with me, I was very happy. I am grateful to have the opportunity, and I think I can get down into the mid-to-low-80s.”

Like Blair, Dople wasn’t introduced to the game until she was in eighth grade. Her grandfather, Jim Harrison, had an old set of men’s Ping blades and took her to the driving range and the golf course. It wasn’t long before she was getting her own set of clubs.

“It was something I fell in love with right away,” she said. “Now I get to go to Maryville, and it was sort of the same thing. The school is a Christian-based college with very high academic standards, and when I went to visit, I just fell in love with it.”

1
Text Only
Golf
  • Loran Smith: Big Three still a big deal for fans

    AUGUSTA — Sinatra is gone, but we still have his music. The same is true with Nat King Cole and Elvis. It would be nice to hear them in concert again, however. With Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, we are not sure what it will be like when they are no longer the honorary starters at the Masters.

    April 11, 2014

  • Lusk Memorial golf tourney set for next week

    The 2014 Dr. Earl W. Lusk Memorial Rotary Golf Tournament is scheduled for Tuesday at Dalton Golf and Country Club and will support the many college scholarships that Rotary provides to high school seniors each spring.

    April 10, 2014

  • Loran Smith: Meeting old friends under the big oak a tradition, too

    The first time I was in a train station in Great Britain and saw a sign that read, “Meeting Place,” it brought me to a pause. How simple, how functional was this sign? In small towns it is not a problem to meet someone at Sheppard’s Filling Station or at the fireplug across the street from the Baptist church, but at a busy venue — like European train stations — there is nothing more sensible than meeting at the “Meeting Place.”

    April 10, 2014

  • Ruritan scramble will be held at Indian Trace

    The 14th annual Spring Place Ruritan Club Golf Tournament is April 12 at Indian Trace Golf Course in Chatsworth.

    April 5, 2014

  • Dalton's Lowery in top five of flight at GSGA tourney

    Dalton’s Ron Lowery opened with an 83 Wednesday and is tied for fourth place in his flight at the Georgia Super Senior Championship.

    April 3, 2014

  • Local golfers in action at Georgia Four-Ball

    The Georgia State Golf Association’s 2014 season is underway with two teams tied for the overall lead at the Georgia Four-Ball Tournament.

    March 29, 2014

  • DSC just eight back at tourney

    Dalton State College’s men’s golf team is in seventh place after the first round of play at the 12-team Emmanuel College Invitational, but the Roadrunners are well within striking distance as the 36-hole tournament concludes today.

    March 25, 2014

  • Chris Whitfield: North Murray grad leads Emory to league crown

    Former North Murray High School golfer Colby Hipp has made a big splash with his new teammates at Emory University in Atlanta.

    March 20, 2014

  • Indian trace refurb 1 mlh.jpg Improving your lie

    CHATSWORTH — In the fall of last year, Indian Trace Golf Course brought in new course superintendent with a mission.
    The course, which is in north Murray County and more than 25 years old, doesn’t need to be totally redesigned, but some changes have been needed.

    March 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Registration open for Georgia Four-Ball Championship

    Registration is open for the 43rd edition of the Georgia Four-Ball Championship, which will be held April 25-27 at Cartersville Country Club.

    February 20, 2014