With a round of 76 at Gilbertsville Golf Course, Boyertown junior Emily Gilbert captured the PAC-10 Individual Girls’ Golf Championship last week. She bested second place Maddie Saeger of Owen J. Roberts by two strokes.
The victory was mostly the result of hard work and persistence on her part. She has put in the practice time to make her the best golfer she can be.
Gilbert first got interested in golf after doing a book report on Tiger Woods. She expressed her desire to learn the game from her father, Brian, who is a golfer himself. Brian bought clubs for his daughter and Emily attended a few camps and clinics. After a while, she entered tournaments, took more lessons and she got more involved in the game.
Golf is a very challenging game, and it certainly was a challenge to Gilbert. Even to this day, she still spends hours practicing, and she feels that she barely makes an improvement.
“Definitely it takes more practice and time than the other sports that I played,” said Gilbert.
The biggest challenge that she faces is staying consistent since golf is a very up and down sport. Emily struggled with the mental aspect game a lot early on. She had to fight frustration off when she played poorly.
“Keeping my confidence up was a challenge because it can be very frustrating game.”
Gilbert has seen her game greatly improve as a result of the lessons she has taken. She started out with Chris Carr at Blackwood Golf Course, where she also participated in some clinics as well as lessons. Within the last year, Emily started going to Bob Kramer for lessons. She also did some clinics with Cathy Reynolds, who has really helped her with the mental part of the game.
She started out with the KO Tour, which are tournaments at local golf courses in the area. She then went on to the Jr. PGA Tournaments. It was her seventh grade year when she entered her first Jr. PGA tournament. Emily was nervous, but she’ll be the first to tell you that the Jr. PGA tournaments were a lot harder than the KO Tournaments. “The more experience I got, the more I improved,” said Gilbert. “Once I got over the fear and the nerves, it wasn’t a big deal. It was just another round of golf.”
Emily is a member of Brookside Country Club, where she practices and golf before she comes to practice for the school team. She also plays in tournaments on the weekends.
For the past couple of years, Gilbert has played on both the boys’ and girls’ team. However, this year, she was only a member of the girls’ golf team. Emily asked her coach, Mark Takacs, about putting a girls’ team together. So, Emily talked all of her friends into coming out so they could form a team.
It was stressful for Gilbert to play with the boys’ team. Olivia Steinmetz and her were the only two girls playing on the boys’ team.
Gilbert wasn’t nervous going into the PAC-10 championship round at Gilbertsville. Emily knew that she had to play consistent and stay focused.
Gilbert knew that she couldn’t afford to have any double bogeys during her round. She needed nothing but pars and bogeys at the most. Gilbert shot a 76, which was good enough to win the girls’ PAC-10 title. She beat her friend Maddy Sager from Owen J. Roberts by two strokes.
“She (Maddy Sager) had two holes to go and was five over. I was over four over and I’m not sure what happen on the last two holes,” said Gilbert. “I thought she was going to par out. I was so happy and relieved. All that hard work and effort paid off.”
Emily becomes the first person from Boyertown to win a girls’ golf title, but she never really thought about it. “It’s exciting and humbling, and it brings respect to the school,” said Gilbert. “It brings school spirit. I never thought of it as being the first girl to win the title.”
Now that she has won the PAC-10 title, Emily has set the bar very high for herself. Gilbert always sets high goals and standards for herself and she’s hoping that young kids will start to come out and play the game of golf and have fun.
With her score of 76, Gilbert has qualified for the district golf meet which starts at October 7 at Gilbertsville Golf Course. If she makes the cut, the second day of the district meet is at Turtle Creek Golf Course in Limerick. She is also hoping to make it to regionals.
“I’m hoping that I can keep playing,” said Gilbert.
Gilbert isn’t nervous about playing in the district meet, but she’s more excited than anything else. With the first round at Gilbertsville, Emily feels that she might have a slight advantage. But it will be very tough at that level.