WXXV Student Athlete of the Week: Vancleave Girls Golf Kelsey Mason
With the Masters beginning just next week, it’s only fitting that we grab some clubs and hit the greens.
News 25’s Ansley Brent had the honor of watching a sophomore sensation tee it up at Hickory Hills as she prepares to compete in both the district and state championship tournaments.
The game of golf typically isn’t a sport to just pick up one day and succeed, but Vancleave sophomore Kelsey Mason defied the odds!
A flyer at school gave her the idea to try out when she was in the eighth grade, and she showed up to Hickory Hills with a few practice swings under her belt and a set of men’s clubs because she didn’t have her own.
It’s safe to say that her tryout was quite impressive. “I tried out, I made the team, and it was just great. I just kept on improving and it was a great year. I just stuck with it.”
A great year to say the least, qualifying for the state championship tournament and lived out a once in a lifetime experience with a one-in-a-million swing. “I was playing around with my stepdad and a couple of his friends with my sister and we were going to Shell Landing playing on hole number eight, I just swung the club off the driver about 128 yards and it just felt amazing and then you just heard the *clink clink* noise when the ball went in the hole. Me and my sister just looked at each other and left the cart and just ran up to the hole and it was in there.”
Mason says it was that very moment she was hooked on the game and realized she wanted to take golf a lot more seriously.
Fast forward two years and Mason continues to impress as a sophomore. This season alone, she has won three tournaments as an individual and has lead Vancleave to two championships as a team.
But Mason isn’t one to harp on the stats and her goal is to be better than she was the day before. “I don’t really think about that. I just continue to work on improving myself every single day and seeing where it leads me.”
But with golf being one of, if not the most difficult sport, playing it is definitely not a walk in the park.
Mason says the sport has taught her many things about life, including patience and how to be strong mentally. “It’s taught me to be more patient and to continue to work hard because hard work does not go unnoticed. It’s definitely a mental sport. It really messes with you there, but you just have to practice every single day to continue to get better.”
Mason knows that the many skills golf has taught her will take her far in life, whether it’s pursuing a career on the green or entering the medical field. “I do wish to keep pursuing it, but I either want to be a professional golfer or a travel nurse, so I guess I’ll see where it takes me.”