Golfers love the summer.
School is out and there’s more time to focus on the game they love and work on ways to improve.
That’s exactly how Lake Ridge junior-to-be Caitlyn Lindell is using the time away from classes.
Lindell, in just her third year to playing the sport, went to the state tournament this year and finished 14th overall.
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She also had finished behind teammate Aysis Azarcon for second place at the district tournament and was fifth at the regional meet.
This summer, Lindell said she has plenty to work on and has the time to play every day.
She said she goes to the driving range about three times a week and then works on putting and chipping.
“I play some golf every day,” Lindell said.
Lindell estimates she’s playing 20 to 30 hours per week, equivalent to a part-time job.
Through June she is working on changing her swing before she joins the tournament circuit in July.
Lindell said her private coach is working with her on correcting her swing. The impact position has her hands turning over, making the flight of the ball inconsistent, she explained.
“I hope to get that under control by the end of the month,” she said.
Lindell will look to use her new swing as she will be playing in an American Junior Golf Association qualifying tournament in Austin on July 3. Should she qualify, she’ll be able to play in the Jordan Spieth Invitational later in the summer.
“It would be awesome to meet him,” she said.
After the qualifying tournament in Austin, Lindell will compete in the Fort Worth Junior Open.
“I hope to play in the championship flight this year,” she said after winning the First Flight in last year’s tournament. “It depends on how hard I work.”
At the end of the month, Lindell has also again been invited to compete in the International Teen World Championship at Pinehurst in North Carolina.
Playing different courses across the country is good training, she feels, for being able to adapt as she travels in her golf career.
With all the practices, drills and tournaments on Lindell’s summer schedule, there has been one accomplishment which her parents are likely just as excited about.
After turning 16 at the end of May, Lindell waited until after taking the ACT and SAT tests before taking another big test – for her driver’s license.
Now, her father doesn’t have to be on-call for drop-off and pick-up at the courses.
When the family goes on vacation this summer, Lindell said she still plans to play while away from home, too.
“The more I play, I don’t get frustrated focusing on the details,” she said. “I like to see the improvements even if that means not having the most fun doing it. You have to push yourself a little bit.”
Playing into college is something Lindell already has her sights on, and she has hopes to play professionally.
“Playing in the LPGA is my ultimate goal,” Lindell said, saying her golf hero is Stacy Lewis, but admits a major in a science field will be her backup plan, “just in case.”
For now, Lindell will continue to hit the courses during the summer months, taking off maybe just a few weeks over the course of the year’s schedule.
“And I’ll enjoy those weeks,” she said.