Like all twins, Grace and I did everything together growing up.
We were always involved in the same sports and activities, but golf was our strongest passion.
We come from an extremely golf-centric family, so we had clubs in our hands by the time we could walk.
As we continued to play and compete at a high level in our high school years, college golf appeared to be a realistic possibility for both of us.
We also had a decision to make.
Do we forge our own paths and go to separate colleges? Or do we stick together through thick and thin, just like we always have?
Truthfully, it was an easy decision to make, as we always planned to attend the same college together.
Having recently finished our freshman seasons at Oakland University, we can say with confidence that we made the right choice.
With golf being such an individual sport, our situation is unique in that we’re always there to bring out the best in each other. That competitive fire gives us an edge on the course, and it’s a big reason why we wanted to continue that sibling rivalry in college on the same team.
When we arrived on campus at Oakland, we didn’t know what the year would entail, but we did know that we’d have each other.
And, together, we were determined to make an immediate impact at a place that’s quickly become our second home.
We were inspired to play collegiate golf by our older brother, Jack, who competed on the golf team for the University of Toledo.
Jack’s always been a big role model for the both of us – not only on the golf course – but in life, too.
When we saw how much he grew as a person and golfer at Toledo, we wanted that same experience for ourselves.
Being recruited as twins certainly made the process interesting. We didn’t outright tell schools that we were a packaged deal; we more or less let them figure that out themselves.
As the process played out, Oakland started to check many of our boxes. Not only were we super impressed with their resources and facilities, but Oakland’s campus is only about an hour away from our hometown in Canton, Michigan.
Playing for Oakland would give our family ample opportunities to see us golf, which was an important factor for us both.
When we officially committed to Oakland, it was an euphoric moment.
Playing Division I golf was always what we dreamed about when we were little girls, and we couldn’t have been more excited to follow in Jack’s footsteps and live out our dreams playing against the best of the best.
As mentioned earlier, one goal we both had for this season was to make an immediate impact to help our team. We were able to do that from the opening fall season through the Horizon League Championships that closed the season.
We both finished in the top ten in the conference championships, which was a satisfying way to end an impactful first season for us.
I remember after I finished my last round, I went to find my parents, and they were talking with Coach Sarah. To my surprise, Coach Sarah had tears rushing down her cheeks and was crying.
I thought something awful had happened.
They were actually happy tears as she was going on about how much she enjoyed the season and loved coaching me. That filled my heart with so much joy, knowing I have the privilege to play for such a special and caring person.
I know for Grace, she saved some of her best golf for the conference championships as well. She crushed it on the back nine on the final day and shot up the leaderboard to earn a sixth-place finish.
She told me how nervous she was on the final two holes, as she wanted to end the season on a high and give her momentum to take into the fall season.
Her hands were literally shaking, but after a pep talk from Coach Sarah, that eased her mind, and she closed out the tournament in grand fashion.
When she stepped off the green, Coach Sarah told her how proud she was for not letting the pressure get the best of her, and how much improvement she made over the course of the season.
Those moments epitomize the relationship and bond Coach Sarah has with her players. We credit a large portion of the success we were able to achieve this season to Coach Sarah and the amazing culture she’s created within the program.
With our first season in the books, we want to continue to build off that success for years to come.
There’s so much to love about our team from a talent and culture standpoint, but we’re also a very young team. We laid the groundwork this season, and we know we have an opportunity to leave a lasting impact on this program.
It has to start with winning the Horizon League Championships. We got second this year, but we have the talent to win it next season, and that’s going to be one of our main goals as a team.
As for Grace and I, we’re going to do what we always do; we’ll push each other all summer as we look to come back better than ever in the fall.
We couldn’t be happier for how our first seasons turned out, but we also know that we haven’t scratched the surface of our potential yet.
Knowing our careers are just getting started, that’s what motivates and excites us as we return for our remaining seasons at Oakland.
Whatever successes and failures come our way in the next few years, one thing’s for sure.
We’ll experience them together.