LAUREN SCHONEWOLF, 16
“I’ll do my best!” says Lauren Schonewolf, when asked to talk herself up – to rattle off, that is, her achievements as a golfer, up to this point in her young life.
It’s a perfectly fitting response, coming from a competitor so determined. Schonewolf, a junior at Cape Elizabeth High School, has, after all, won the Maine State Junior Championship twice in a row now. She battled for the victorious South in the North and South Invitational this year, and is a pivotal figure for Cape, who went undefeated this fall and won the Class B State crown.
Schonewolf came to golf via her dad, “a great golfer, currently a 5 handicap,” as she says. She’s been competing for about five years now, and is a 5 handicap herself. Chris Whitney coaches her at Cape, but she gets additional swing instruction from Maine golf legend Abby Spector.
“I started seeing her at the beginning of the summer,” Schonewolf says of Spector, “and she’s helped me tremendously in my game.”
Though golf is a coed sport in high school, Schonewolf is one of just three girls on the Cape roster. She’s happy to report, however, that “girls golf is definitely booming.” Two new girls joined the Capers this year, and the number of girls at competitions is on the rise.
“There’s a bunch of great competitors in my grade, as well as the grades above me and below me. It’s so much fun to see girls play the game just for the fun of it. I live to encourage more girls to join,” she said.
Schonewolf describes one of her favorite rounds ever, the 2015 Junior Championship: “I played good the first round, posting a 79, but was struggling the second day. On the last hole, I was neck and neck with a competitor. [We were on] a par 5 and she decided to lay up her second shot. I felt comfortable and went for it in 2 and thought my ball was OK.”
She soon discovered her ball was the opposite of OK – it was nowhere to be found.
“I ended up taking a drop and getting up and down to win the tournament by one shot,” she says.
Recovering from such a huge setback to win in the end requires real mental fortitude, and Schonewolf knows it.
“That’s one of the rounds I’m most proud of because of my ability to keep my composure and focus,” she says.
If a discriminating eye is indicative of a serious student of any discipline, then Schonewolf is for sure a serious student of golf. Her favorite places to play in Maine include Natanis, Cape Arundel, Bath Country Club and Abenakee. She says she also likes the Marlborough Country Club in Massachusetts and Bretwood Country Club in Vermont.
Schonewolf’s dream is to golf in college.
“It’s my passion and something I would love to continue,” she says. “I’ve emailed back and forth with schools, and the real process begins this winter.”