The boredom and restrictions of the COVID 2020 closures may have gifted Brighton’s women’s golf team with one of their best players.
Lauren Forcier’s primary sport was soccer, but teams weren’t allowed to train or play during the summer of 2020.
Golf courses were open, however, and Forcier was lucky enough to live near Oak Pointe Country Club in Brighton.
“I started during COVID, so I’m pretty fresh, like three years of playing,” Forcier said. “We had nothing to do during COVID. We were practically closed. We live across from a golf course. We brought our bags, walked and played just to pass the time. I chose it as a fun pastime.
With her first year fast approaching, Forcier wasn’t sure if this hobby would turn into a serious business.
“I didn’t even know I was going to try until a few weeks ago,” she said. “After my first season, I was completely hooked. I loved it. It was so much fun. I loved its dynamic.
“I said to myself that I had no fall sport. It would be fun to make friends before the school year, to get to know some of the students from the upper class. It was my way of thinking and that of my parents.
In three short years, Forcier has become one of the top female golfers in the state and is Livingston County’s Golfer of the Year, as selected by the Livingston Daily.
You could have put the names of Brighton’s top four golfers in a hat, pulled one out and proposed a player who had a legitimate claim to Golfer of the Year. Forcier earned an advantage for the honor, as well as the first team of Division 1 states, thanks to his performance in the state tournament.
She was the Bulldogs’ most consistent and best player at Bedford Valley Golf Club, shooting 83 and 82 to tie for 18th in Division 1.
Forcier also finished fourth at regionals with a 76 and ninth overall in both KLAA tournaments with rounds of 78 and 83.
Brighton brought players into the program with solid reputations playing junior golf, but Forcier was a relative unknown when she arrived for the trials. She played a few tournaments growing up, but was more focused on soccer, softball and basketball.
“She plays football and still plays football,” said Brighton manager Paul Parsell. “I knew she was an athlete. I knew she was a smart girl. That’s her biggest asset is that she’s very smart, sometimes too analytical when it comes to playing golf , but overall it bodes well for her. She’s a hard worker. Those three things were able to keep her going and she got the golf bug.
“She was right about 100 for her freshman year trials. That big leap came quickly enough for her to drop into her 90s that first year. Last year she was steadily going into her 80s and this year into her 70s.”
Forcier shot 101 in the KLAA preseason tournament her freshman year, finishing the season with an average of 94. She averaged 85.9 in her sophomore year and 81.8 this season.
“Especially after the states this year, I realized I was a great golfer,” Forcier said. “But the way I conducted myself on the course this year, I’m even prouder, compared to my first year. That’s what has always surprised me is how much you can grow, not just as a golfer, but as a person on the golf course.
“In first year, I would put myself in a complete state of mind. I would have a bad hole and I would absolutely explode. By the end of my freshman year, I would have a 10 every turn. Now, getting a 10 isn’t even a question. You have to push through, get your bogey or double up and work through that. All the way around, I’m not as negative about myself. I do not care. I let go more and focus on one shot at a time.
Contact Bill Khan at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @BillKhan.