There is no doubt that Trinity’s Emma Pittman loves the game of golf. When the vivacious senior talks about the game she can do so with nothing but positive comments about her fellow players, the courses, the opportunities and the game itself. Pittman’s enthusiasm will persuade you to love the game too, so much you will be delighted to make your next triple bogey.
“It’s just so much fun! I love everything about it. I’ve made so many friends because of golf. I really enjoy tournaments so I can see friends and make more friends. I really love golf, I mean, I’m out there every day,” Pittman said. “I even love practicing and playing by myself. Being an independent sport, golf gives you the opportunity to play by yourself. I love just looking around and know I’m playing in God’s creation. It makes me wonder how amazing this game really is.”
Pittman started playing golf at 8 years old and played in her first tournament at age 10. Like most young players, she was introduced to the game by her Dad, Greg, a former college golfer. “He started me off and taught me how to play. He was a player in college so he knows the game very well. Dad and I play together, and I get plenty of support from my mom too. I’m real fortunate,” Pittman said.
Pittman has taken the game of golf and translated it into how to live life, with or without the game. “Golf teaches you many lessons in life. I keep finding that what I learn from playing golf are patience, persistence and perseverance. I have really learned patience from playing golf and persistence means you need to work hard. And when you are hot and tired perseverance kicks in. These are great lessons,” Pittman said. Her late grandmother, Laura, taught her other valuable lessons. “She was my number one fan. She came to see me play rain or shine. She always told me in life sometimes you just got to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again. She always gave me the greatest advice.”
The young lady that smashes colossal drives down the fairway also credits her high school coach, Tim Bethea. “Coach Bethea is an amazing coach. He coaches the boys at Trinity too. But he is really good as a girls coach because he is patient and he is a funny guy. We never have tense situations and he makes it fun. I think that is one big reason why our team is successful,” Pittman said.
During this past high school season she won the 4A-5A sectional tournament and then placed fifth overall in the 4A-5A state tournament even after a dismal opening round. In July Pittman won the Southern Junior Golf Tour (SJGT) event at Saugahatchee in Opelika. Earlier she finished second in the SJGT stop at her home course of Wynlakes and second in the SJGT event in Dothan.
As far as this year’s high school golf season is concerned, Pittman had the honor in playing in the first Golf All Star Week. It was the first time the AHSAA and the AHSADCA included golf and tennis in the series of events. “All Star week was not only a memorable event for me but it also strengthened friendships and allowed me to work hard and have fun with my teammates. The North/South competition included golf for the first time this year. When I found out that I was invited to this event I was excited and honored to be part of the South team. My teammate, Tori Roush, and I had so much fun on the course and although the South team lost, we were able to win our match. I’m grateful for the opportunity,” Pittman said.
Even with how good high school golf and junior golf for girls has become, Pittman wants to see more progress and improvement. “The sport has grown for girls and we are blessed to have opportunities but we can still improve. I think that high school golf is getting better since we are given more opportunities to play. I think the girls need to play a bigger variety of courses, that would elevate the competition level,” Pittman said. “But to increase competition we need more girls to play. I think some girls think it is too hard…and it is a hard sport. That’s a big stumbling block with a lot of girls. I wish golf could have more recognition in high school sports. We just need to keep working on getting people involved. It’s such a great game.”