Lockert looks to lead Bulldogs at state
Steph Lockert knew she wanted to join the girls golf team once she reached junior high. "She was just crazy about the game," Bowman County coach Don Groll said. So, Groll and Lockert's family began helping her along, compiling sets of clubs for t...
Steph Lockert knew she wanted to join the girls golf team once she reached junior high.
"She was just crazy about the game," Bowman County coach Don Groll said.
So, Groll and Lockert's family began helping her along, compiling sets of clubs for the youngster and tweaking her game as she slowly improved.
As a freshman, Lockert individually qualified for the state tournament. Her sophomore and junior seasons, she had top 15 finishes at state.
Now a senior for Bowman County, Lockert hopes to break into the top 10 at the Class B state tournament, which begins this morning at Oxbow Country Club south of Fargo.
"My goal is top seven, but I want to go in there just relaxed and play my game," Lockert said. "When I go in there thinking too much, that's when my problems occur. I want to go in there and play and hopefully it ends up alright."
While relaxation may be a key to success for Lockert, it's also one of the main reasons she loves the game.
"You can go out and play whenever, relax and get your mind off things and be competitive still," Lockert said.
While she hasn't won a tournament this year, Lockert has had one of the most successful seasons of her career.
Not only does she have a 93.8 average and a top-five finish in all but one of her tournaments, she's also helped Bowman County qualify for its first state tournament as a team.
"That's kind of history," Groll said.
According to Groll, Lockert's experience and presence on the course has gone a long way in helping Bowman County qualify for the state tournament.
Lockert is the only senior on the six-member team. The rest are freshmen and eighth-graders.
"I'll get out of the bus, go get the kids registered and she'll sit them down and tell them she's played the course and what to look for, how to stay out of trouble, that kind of thing," Groll said.
But Lockert hasn't only been a stabilizing presence, she's also been an inspiration on the course.
While Lockert has always boasted a bit of power, she's only recently been able to fine-tune it.
As a sophomore, she may have cracked the top 10 at the state tournament had she not taken an 11 on a par-4 at the Jamestown Country Club.
According to Groll, that single hole helped Lockert mature as a golfer.
"I just kept powering them out of bounds, but I just pared all the holes after that," Lockert said. "I knew I had to keep my head in it."
With a big swing and a powerful drive, Lockert's ability to get a good start off the tee box has helped her game immensely.
"If you grabbed her by the arms, you'd think you had a linebacker," Groll said. "She can out-drive me. She hits a ton. ... She really has improved on distance this year."