DALLAS — EmmaMae Johnson began and ended her final season of girls golf at Dallas High School by setting personal records.
“I started out with a personal record this year for the first tournament,” said Johnson, who graduated recently from DHS. “I was super excited about that, but then it went downhill and I was at a constant for the rest of the season, and I didn’t really improve until districts, like drastically. Then I PR’d both days of districts. So, I think it was a great way to end my senior season; I definitely was happy with where I ended. I wanted to break 100 my senior year, but I shot a 100 as my PR for my final score. So it was a great season.”
Jonson helped her team finish in third place at districts — for the first time ever in Dragons girls golf history.
The four girls, two seniors and two sophomores, who made up the team were all returners, and Johnson said that was a big reason as to why the team performed so well this season.
“So, last year’s freshmen had never played golf before, and they improved so much last year and then this season as well, and Maddie (Shuck) and I improved as well, so I think it was definitely a combined effort of everyone’s improvement, and that everyone was a returner too.”
The quartet was like a little family this season.
“We’re all just out there having fun, and playing golf,” Johnson said. “It’s a great game and even though it’s an individual sport it’s so much fun playing with those girls.”
And they all went into the season with the same mindset: Have fun.
“It was nice playing when score doesn’t really matter,” Johnson said. “If you go out worried about how you shoot, its just like any sport — if you’re worried about winning, then it doesn’t go as well as if you’re having a blast, and that’s what I think of all of us did this year.”
Johnson also really enjoyed getting to play a final season with her younger sister, AnneMarie, who is a sophomore.
“My sister is my absolute best friend,” Johnson said, “and we do choir and golf together. Those are the two things in high school we do together, and I really wanted to spend my senior season with my sister, so it was just spending more time with my sister.”
The bus rides over to each tournament were also moments Johnson looks back on fondly.
“We would play music and hype ourselves up - like how can you hype yourself up for golf?” She said, laughing.
But even with a season filled with fun, challenges still cropped up. Johnson said how you handled those challenges made all the difference.
“I did the same thing that I had done the past couple years, where I got into my head the middle of the season,” she said, “and if I try to overthink my swing too much it doesn’t go too well for me, and if I try to break it down too much, instead of working on little things and trying to just fix the whole thing, then it created more problems for me, and I was just worried about my swing the whole time. Once I stopped worrying about that toward the end of the season I did a lot better, so I think that was the biggest challenge, was just getting out of my head.
“It’s hard to do in the middle of the tournament, especially when you’ve had a couple bad holes,” she said. “But just like breathing or just singing one of the silly songs we had during our hype-up session, doing those things helped me to relax and play better.”
Besides golf and choir, Johnson was also a member of the Dragons varsity volleyball team. While both sports require dedication and a calm mind during a competition or tournament, Johnson said she loves how different golf is from volleyball.
“(Golf) takes all day, and you get to see all the trees and the grass and just being outside is just so nice, and that’s what makes it different from being inside or at a gym after school,” Johnson said. “You start fresh; it’s the first thing you do in your day. So, I think the appreciation for what’s around you is a lot different. It’s a lot more laid back.”