Courtesy of Mercer Athletics
Lauren Lightfritz always sets her eyes on the prize. At her first college tournament, Lightfritz finished as the top Mercer golfer.
Golfing since the age of seven, Lightfritz has worked tirelessly to get where she is today as a freshman NCAA Division-I (D1) golfer.
At the age of 11, she started playing tournament golf, which is when she realized her dream was to become a part of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) — and to get there, she knew she wanted to have a scholarship to play golf in college. Golf has played a central role in her life as her training and fitness pushed her to go to the next level.
“[Being at the D1 level] means everything because my goal has been to go to the LPGA, and I feel that it is part of my life to go there,” Lightfritz said. “It’s a learning process. Coach [Michele] Drinkard is really going to help me. She knows a lot about the game, and she can teach me a lot.”
Lightfritz says she enjoys the higher level of competition that comes with collegiate golf, and she continues to look forward to the rest of the season.
“[The first tournament was] kind of like the beginning of momentum,” Lightfritz said. “I was nervous, but once I started playing I realized it’s just another golf tournament . . . I think it’s a sign for the future and for the next couple of tournaments throughout the year that I’m gonna play very well.”
Nearly everyone that comes to Mercer has a story about why they came to Mercer. Lightfritz, originally from Suwanee, Georgia, was not thinking about Mercer until she got an email from the coach and visited campus.
“I visited Mercer and I just instantly fell in love with it. It was the feeling you get when you come on campus and that it was closer to home. It also felt like home even when I was away from home,” Lightfritz said.
Lightfritz says that at each tournament, the team learns a lot from the experiences and tries to take away the positives. At the same time, they try to focus on what they can do to improve for the next tournament and encourage each other to succeed even more.
While Lightfritz is dedicated to the golf course, she is also pursuing a degree in finance and wishes to open her own business that sells children’s and women’s golf apparel.
“I want to open up a clothing business for golf, to make better girls golf clothes and apparel that are more comfortable and fit better,” Lightfritz said. “I feel like they don’t make them as comfortable as they should be; golfers should be more comfortable while they are playing.”