Freshman Elizabeth Scholtes tied for first place in Cal Poly Women’s Golf’s second place finish at the Battle at the Rock in Riverside on Feb. 11. The Alameda, California native has a 74.1 scoring average with four rounds of par or better.
Mustang News: What got you into playing golf?
Elizabeth Scholtes: One of my friends invited me to play in Nike’s Junior Golf camp over the summer, and I just really enjoyed it. So I kept it up after that. I was 12.
MN: That seems like a late age to start playing a sport.
ES: Yeah, I started kinda late, but I really enjoyed it, so I just kept working at it. It was just something I was really passionate about.
MN: What made you choose to come to Cal Poly?
ES: Other than the phenomenal academics, I really love the people here and I love the town.
MN: What do you like about practice?
ES: I kind of like being alone sometimes. It gives me time to reflect while putting myself in something and working toward a goal.
MN: What keeps you wanting to play golf?
ES: Golf is actually really frustrating, but there are always one or two shots every round that just feel really good. I feel like it’s those shots that make me want to keep playing, just so that I can keep having those good shots, even though that doesn’t happen.
MN: What frustrates you about golf and how do you handle the frustration?
ES: You want the shot to be perfect, but most of the time, that doesn’t happen. So it’s frustrating when you don’t execute properly. I know that being frustrated or angry at the shot that I just hit isn’t going to help me with the next shot, so I just have to move forward and move on from what happened.
MN: What’s been your biggest obstacle so far?
ES: I think my biggest obstacle has been balancing school and golf. I love golf, but school is also really important. Studying while missing midterms and traveling has been really difficult for me and something I have had to adjust to.
MN: You had a 4.69 GPA in high school while playing golf. Has that been harder to keep up in college?
ES: It was definitely easier in high school because I wasn’t missing many midterms or big tests that are worth so much of my grade. But I think that the professors here are a lot more accommodating and the tutoring that is available to me has been really helpful, which makes it easier for me. Like this next week, I’m missing three days of class and I’m missing two midterms, so I have to figure out how to plan for all that and reschedule everything.
MN: What were your goals coming into Cal Poly in golf and life in general?
ES: The main reason I wanted to play golf in college is because I knew that it was something I couldn’t give up. I love competing and always improving, so I didn’t have a specific goal when I came here, but I know that whatever I learn through golf can be applied to other parts of my life. I think that’s a big reason why I decided to come here. I guess the goal would be to learn more about myself and how I can improve in golf and other parts of my life.
MN: What’s your mindset like on the course? Like what’s going through your mind on the course?
ES: Our coach has been working with us a lot on what we think from shot to shot and in between holes. I really try not to think about golf while I’m walking from shot to shot. Something that my coach told me a while ago was to sing the ABC’s backward, so I’ve become pretty good at doing that. Another thing I think about is my next shot, like what do I need to do to execute it the way I want to. I really try not to think about the outcomes as much as the execution of the actual shots.
MN: What’s been your favorite moment at Cal Poly so far?
ES: It didn’t exactly happen to me, but a few days ago, my roommate got chased by turkeys. She was very traumatized by that, and I just find it really funny. I’ve had a few encounters with turkeys before, so I’m just waiting for it to happen to me.
MN: What’s your favorite breed of dog? We’ve heard you really love dogs.
ES: Oh my gosh! I love dogs. So I have a Brittany spaniel, so I feel like I have to say that my favorite type of dog is Brittany.
MN: But if you could have any type of dog…
ES: I think golden retrievers are really, really nice and sweet. Yeah, every time I see a dog, I’m like, “Oh my gosh! A dog!” That’s another thing I think about when I’m on the golf course. If I’m unhappy or something, I think about my dog. At home. Sleeping.