By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
When Katie Bowling says that she’s blessed to be able to have the chance to play collegiate golf, those aren’t just empty words.
“I’ve had two major knee surgeries,” the North Laurel senior said after she signed to play at Lindsey Wilson Wednesday. “I had to give up all other sports, so I’m blessed to still be able to play golf.”
Bowling played varsity golf for the Lady Jaguars for seven years, but her love of the game goes back even further.
“The smallest putter I have is one foot tall,” Bowling said.
She was all set to sign with Campbellsville to fulfill her dream of playing golf in college. But the day before she would commit, she had a change of heart and decided to go with the Lady Raiders, thanks in part to their assistant coach, Krista Burton, the 2007 NAIA women’s champion, 2009 Mid South Conference Player of the Year, and a current member of the Symetra Tour.
“I felt like she could take my game to the next level,” Bowling said. She also noted that she fell in love with the school and she felt like God was leading her to the Columbia college.
“Katie will make a great collegiate golfer,” North Laurel coach Karen Moore said. “She has the distance off the tee. She will have to work on her short game, but she is very talented.” When asked what she felt like she needed to work on to succeed in college, Bowling agreed with her coach.
“My short game for sure,” Bowling said. “I think distance is my strong point, but I will have to improve my short game.”
Bowling was named to the All-Region golf team and was a member of the North Laurel team that finished ninth in the state this year and was region runners-up. She is also the second Lady Jaguar to commit to college within the last month, as teammate Caroline Moore, the 9th Region Player of the Year, signed with Lee University.
“Those two have been the backbone of our team,” Moore said. “But we have some good players coming back. Losing the two of them will be very difficult. They both started in middle school and you could tell this year that all that experience paid off.”
Bowling said she plans on becoming golf pro, so she will probably major in business management or accounting.
“Then I will take the test to become a teaching pro,” Bowling said.