Danielle Hardin (seated, center) signs to play golf with Union College.

Ever since she first picked up a golf club in the sixth grade, South Laurel senior Danielle Hardin has dreamed of someday playing collegiate golf.

Friday morning, that dream came true, as she signed to hit the links for Union College next fall.

“I’m really excited,” Hardin said. “My dad played golf, and he got me interested in it.”

Hardin, who plans on majoring in education, said that she thinks her strongest point right now is her distance, but said that she needs to improve everything in her game.

“She’ll do great,” said Mary Sergent, her high school coach. “She’s very motivated and works hard. She has the physical game to succeed in college, she just needs to work on the mental aspect. Sometimes she gets discouraged and is hard on herself. She doesn’t need to let things get her down. Just shake it off and go on.”

Eric Wyrick, the head coach at Union, agreed, saying the mental aspect of the game is the hardest thing for most kids coming out of high school.

“Every high school player has that maturing phase,” Wyrick said. “The mental part is something we focus on. Danielle will have to work hard on the mental side of the game.”

But Wyrick said he doesn’t see her having any difficulty making that transition.

“I think she will be an impact player for us right away,” Wyrick said, noting that he has several returning players next year off a team that is currently ranked No. 2 in the AAC. “She is an outstanding golfer who has made a name for herself. She works hard and is very easy to coach. She has a passion for the game that I think will carry her through college.”

“I hope to see her one day on the Duramed’s Tour,” Sergent added.

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