Clare MacMahon tees off on Hole 8 at the Lacombe Junior Open at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club Wednesday afternoon.

Clare MacMahon tees off on Hole 8 at the Lacombe Junior Open at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club Wednesday afternoon.

The key is desire

It’s no surprise to see Clare McMahon among of the top young female golfers in the province. After all the 16-year-old grew up on the Balmoral Golf Course, which is owned and managed by her parents, John and Lesley.

It’s no surprise to see Clare McMahon among of the top young female golfers in the province.

After all the 16-year-old grew up on the Balmoral Golf Course, which is owned and managed by her parents, John and Lesley.

“My dad got me involved when I was four. He’d take me out to the 10th hole and we’d play it over and over. I’d usually play a hole, then take a hole off while he played, then play again,” she explained. “That was my introduction to the sport.”

It didn’t take long for her to fall in love with golf.

“Not at first, but by the time I was seven I started playing in leagues and I loved it. I wanted to get good at it,”

She got involved in leagues, such as the McLennan Ross Junior Tour, when she was “12 or 13”.

“I didn’t win many tournaments in fact I didn’t win any, but I wanted to get better, to play with the best girls,” she said.

“I like tournament golf because it forces you to buckle down and hit the shots to be competitive. I know the girls in the province and how good they are so I know what I have to do to get better and compete.”

She’s done just that as she finished eighth in the McLennan Ross Tour final at Wolf Creek Golf Resort last year, as a 15-year-old.

Growing up, playing the Balmoral course, which is noted for it’s slightly smaller greens, was a benefit to Clare as she worked hard to have a strong short game.

“I also played on a par-3 course near Rimbey and that also helped my short game,” she said. “I worked a lot on shots from 150 yards and in.”

But that’s only part of her strengths. She drives the ball well and her putting is “OK”.

“My driving is usually solid, although at times it’s off. As for putting that’s something you always have to work on. What I need to continue to work on is my long irons.”

McMahon hasn’t played much this season since she was busy finishing her Grade 10 at Notre Dame High School and working at the course.

However she does get out to practice as much as possible, usually by herself.

“I usually go out early in the morning before everyone else or later after everyone else,” she said.

“I usually hit a couple of balls. It makes you think more. You’re not playing with anyone else so you don’t compare yourself to them, you just work on your game. It’s just you and that’s what I like about golf. You’re competing against yourself.”

McMahon will continue to play in as many tournaments as possible, although the provincial junior girls’ tournament is not on her calendar this year.

“I was too busy and had other commitments, so I didn’t register, but that’s something I’ll look at next year,” she said. “I would like to do that and possibly get to the nationals.”

McMahon also competed for Notre Dame last year and has two years remaining with the program before she looks to take the next step.

“Last year I was scouted by a school in Texas,” she said. “It was in August and they wanted me there in September, but they didn’t know how old I was. Hopefully down the road.

“I want to play in college, hopefully out of Alberta. I don’t know why, but I would like to get away and see if golf’s something I want to pursue. I don’t necessarily want to be a professional, but as I see it now I want to be involved in the industry one way or another. Possibly a superintendent, or something else.

“We’ll see.”

McMahon is athletic and has the strength to drive the ball beyond most girls in the province.

“I definitely hit it a lot further than a lot of girls, even with my fairway woods,” she said.

“But a lot of people think because I do hit the ball far I have no touch around the greens. But I worked hard on that part of my game to get it down.”

It also doesn’t hurt that she’s able to work on that part of her game almost every day.

Danny Rode is a former Advocate sports reporter who retired this year. Rode writes a weekly feature for Friday Forward.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

More than 120,000 Albertans have signed up to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the first two days of appointment bookings. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta Health Services apologizes after seniors struggle to book vaccine appointments

The CEO and president of Alberta Health Services is apologizing after seniors… Continue reading

Red Deer’s Kyle Moore, 26, will be a houseguest on Season 9 of Big Brother Canada. (Photo courtesy Big Brother Canada)
Red Deer man will be a houseguest on Big Brother Canada

A Red Deer man will be a houseguest on the upcoming season… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools says that in the absence of additional funds from the provincial government, there was no consideration of using alternate classroom sites in the district. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Red Deer Public Schools launches online engagement process

Red Deer Public schools is seeking community input to help ensure a… Continue reading

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews (34) falls on his knees as he skates around Ottawa Senators defenceman Artem Zub (2) during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Thursday, February 18, 2021. The Maple Leafs will be without star centre Auston Matthews when they take on the Edmonton Oilers Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Toronto star Auston Matthews won’t play as Leafs face Oilers

EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs will be without star centre Auston Matthews… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Wetaskiwin RCMP say a Maskwacis man died after he was struck by a vehicle. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Clare’s Law in Saskatchewan used handful of times; Mounties review their role

REGINA — A first-of-its-kind law in Canada meant to warn those at… Continue reading

The Magpie river in Quebec is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Boreal River MANDATORY CREDIT
Quebec river granted legal rights as part of global ‘personhood’ movement

MONTREAL — With its kilometres of rapids and deep blue waters winding… Continue reading

Thorough sanding of a table top is usually the first step to renewing a finish. Wax contaminants can sometimes still remain on a surface like this after sanding. Cleaning with rubbing alcohol and a rag gets rid of these contaminants without leaving a residue behind. (Photo by Steve Maxwell)
Houseworks: Fixing wood finishes

Q: How can I stop polyurethane from beading up on a mahogany… Continue reading

Most Read