CHILLICOTHE, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — IVC junior Elaine Grant won the Illini Prairie Conference golf tournament in style, shooting a four under 68 and taking medalist honors by six strokes against a competitive field. But it was one of the few times this fall that she has played against girls.
“I’ve been playing with the boys team and I have great relationships with all of them and they pump me up, I pump them up, overall its a good team balance,” Grant said.
The IVC girls varisty golf team only fields three players, so Elaine has spent most of her fall season competing against boys. That means hitting off of longer tee boxes and having to play longer distances.
“Every time I play with them, they either hit farther or I always try to outdrive them,” Grant said.
“And once I outdrive them, I rub it in. It pumps me up, I love it.”
“I think it’s just made her grittier,” IVC golf coach Jason Barnes said. “She’s gotta grind it out sometimes when she’s playing with those guys. I think that translates really well to when she starts to play from the reds with the girls.”
As a freshman and sophomore at IVC, Elaine earned top 15 finishes at the IHSA state golf finals. She’s hoping that her improved mental game can help get her to an even higher level in the future.
“My mental game has gotten a lot stronger,” Grant added. “I know that if they outdrive me, I just gotta work around the greens and I feel that my putting has gotten a lot better from playing from the whites and the longer distances, so that really helps.”