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Sun Sports Writer
Amanda Cox was at a crossroads.
She had quit playing both basketball and softball in seventh grade, but her mother thought she should take up another sport to fill the void that her two former activities would leave.
And she insisted it be golf.
“My sister Emily was interested in it, so she thought that I should give it a shot as well,” Cox said.
It didn’t take long for her to take to her new sport because of the independence it allowed her.
“I really started liking it because you could just come out here and practice on your own,” Cox said. “You’re not dependent on a team, it’s just you out there…It’s really peaceful.”
Another aspect she likes about golf is that she always gets to play, something that she couldn’t say when she “sat the bench in basketball.”
“I quit softball and basketball because they just weren’t fun anymore,” Cox said.
For the past two years, the WC girls’ golf team has consisted solely of Cox and her two sisters, Emily and Olivia, who are currently in ninth grade and sixth grade, respectively.
Her two younger siblings each started playing on the varsity team when they were in fourth grade, according to Cox.
At first, she didn’t know how she would like playing on the same team as her sisters—playing exclusively with them in particular—but now, it is something that she cherishes.
“Well, I miss having peers my age being able to play with, but it’s been really interesting playing with (Emily and Olivia),” Cox said. “We’ve gotten a lot closer through playing golf, and we challenge each other, like we’ll have little competitions. It’s pretty fun.”
The competition ramped up considerably at the recent All-A Regional Tournament, where the two oldest Cox sisters tied for a medalist position and played in a one-hole playoff to break the draw.
“It was pretty interesting because as soon as she heard we’d be playing a playoff, she started the whole, ya know, smack talk,” Cox said. “I started doing it a little back, but I was pretty bad at it.”
Despite Emily coming out on top in the playoff (“but you don’t have to put that in the paper,” Cox said in jest), the golf course is where the sisters are at their closest and do a lot of their “really close talking.”
“We’ll tell each other about our days, kind of discuss what’s going on, what problems we’ve had,” Cox said. “We’re out here by ourselves, so it’s a lot more private.”
In fact, these talks and their time together on the course is what Cox is going to miss most about her time on the WC golf team.
“It’s really going to be a hard transition going from high school golf to college golf without them there,” Cox said.
Collegiate golf is on the agenda for Cox’s post-graduation plans, but the location has yet to be determined.
Cox has narrowed her list down to four schools: Lindsey Wilson College, Bellarmine University, Northern Kentucky University and Spalding University.
And the decision to continue to play golf beyond high school is a relief to Head Coach Bobby Bartholomai.
“My hope for these seniors is that they view golf as a game they can continue to play after their time here in high school—whether it’s in college or any other capacity,” Bartholomai said. “I hope they see it as an activity that they can enjoy and kind of help them in whatever avenue they go into: whether it’s business or any walk of life.”
Bartholomai also believes that Cox will be able to succeed at playing golf on the collegiate level.
“She has a great work ethic, so that should be something she can really excel at,” Bartholomai said. “She has a great attitude, never lets herself get too worked up, so her emotions aren’t going to ruin her out there on the course. She’ll be very successful at any endeavor she chooses to do.”
Beyond playing golf at one of these schools, Cox also plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. After she’s accomplished this, she wants to get her master’s in nursing to be a nurse practitioner and, specifically, a neo-natal nurse practitioner.
“Ever since I was six years old,” Cox said, “I’ve always wanted to be in the medical field. That never changed for me. I used to want to be a vet where I love animals so much, but when I figured out how much schooling that took, I let that go. I started researching other things, and I think I could be a good caretaker, and I love babies, so I think neo-natal nursing is something I would love to do for the rest of my life.”
While Cox is excited to be going off to college soon, she is going to miss the small-town atmosphere that Washington County provides.
And she knows that she can always look back on how her seemingly small decision in seventh grade has changed her life.
“Playing golf has really helped me grow as a person,” Cox said. “Golf’s really made me more patient and laid back, which is something I needed, especially for school…I’m just really glad I started playing it.”