Chocolate milk and a lot of conversation not related to golf were the keys.
Plus, a golf game that’s found consistency helped Maggie Heggerston shoot the round of her life Sunday.
The incoming Pequot Lakes sophomore fired a women’s tournament course record 67 on the Dutch Course at Cragun’s Legacy Courses during the final stop of the Diet Lipton Tea Tour. The three-year varsity, and two-year Class 2A state golf participant carded seven birdies and an eagle on her way to the lowest round of her career. But it wasn’t until four holes remained that she realized what she was doing.
“I really didn’t have much on my mind,” said Heggerston. “I didn’t actually realize where I was. I was playing pretty consistent for the first 12 holes and then I just started dropping birdies.”
Heggerston started on hole eight and pitched in from 50-yards out to eagle the par 4 11th hole. She made two more birdies before heading back to the front nine. From there it was birdie, birdie, bogey, par, birdie, birdie, birdie to close with a number not too many people believed.
“There was a lot of, ‘Hey, there’s that girl that shot 67,’” said Heggerston. “It was pretty cool.”
Heggerston felt confident before the round. She had played the Dutch Course often this summer while working with PGA golf instructor Chris Foley. A good warm up with Foley prior to the round Sunday and then it was a matter of keeping her mind off of what she was doing.
“You can’t think about it,” she said. “You have to keep your mind busy. Even if it’s about thinking about anything — like chocolate milk. Whatever it is to keep something else on your mind. I just talked to the people in my group.”
Also in the group was Staples-Motley’s Emily Israelson, who scored a top 10 finish in last spring’s state tournament. Israelson was also in Heggerston’s group when she shot her previous low score of 72 at The Preserve at Grand View Lodge during another Diet Lipton Tea tour stop.
Between those two tournaments, Heggerston went through the Vision 54 program at Deacon’s Lodge. She said that helped her remain calm and attack the Dutch Course with confidence.
“That was a neat program,” Heggerston said. “They did a good job working on the mental game. That was right before I shot the 67.”
Heggerston’s quality play hasn’t been limited to the Diet Lipton Tea Tour. She won the Minnesota Section PGA Players’ Tour Series A Player of the Year award after amassing 285 points in five events. Israelson was fourth in the final standings. The 15 year old shot a first-place 79 at The Classic at Madden’s and a first-place 75 at Moorhead Country Club in her final two events to claim the title. She’ll try for the overall player of the year award during the Players Championship Aug. 9-10 at none other than Cragun’s Legacy Courses.
“I had no idea I was capable of shooting a 67,” Heggerston said. “I knew I could shoot in the 70s and even the low 70s, but a 67 is a big leap in my golf game. I did not expect to go out and shoot that.”
Heggerston will hope to keep the low scores coming as she’ll compete in the Minnesota Junior PGA fall tour.
She’ll continue to work with Foley, who Heggerston said deserves a lot of the credit.
“For the last few years I was going back and forth between golf pros,” Heggerston said. “I started with Chris, but then he moved away and so I was going to Scott Dirck in Alexandria. But then when Chris moved back and went back with him and I finally have consistency in my golf life. I have someone I can always go to. My consistency has been the biggest difference. Everything is now set in stone. Chris has really helped me with my golf game. He’s the reason I have been shooting these scores.”