Sophomore Olyvia Longacre (Telford, Pa./Dock Mennonite Academy) has been playing golf for quite some time. Now well into her second year of collegiate golf at Eastern Mennonite University, Olyvia continues to make impressive improvements in her game.
Last week she shot two of her four lowest collegiate golf rounds, 85 and 84. While she was at it, she lowered her season average to 87.0, 4.5 strokes below last year’s.
Olyvia came into this season with a new perspective.
“I just wanted to have fun, and I didn’t care how I did,” she explained. “I knew that I was putting too much pressure on myself, and so if I tried not to think about winning as much, I’d end up playing better.”
Her plan seems to have worked. Her coach, Mike Yoder, agreed.
“Olyvia has had a strong progression from last year to now,” Yoder said. “Not only has she improved her mechanics but she has made great strides mentally. She does a better job of staying in the moment and playing to her strengths during a round.”
For Olyvia, golf is a family affair.
“My dad plays golf, so he took me to a little camp when I was really little,” she said. “But then growing up, I’d also play golf with my grandma...both of my grandparents play golf. I grew up with it a lot with my uncles too, they play golf.”
This long-term history with the sport influenced Olyvia’s decision to play in college.
“I just see it as getting to play free golf, honestly,” Olyvia admitted.
Olyvia is EMU’s only women’s golfer.
“But it’s fine,” Olyvia said, “because in high school I was the only girl.”
However, she does hope for more people to join the team so they can travel to more tournaments.
When Olyvia has a free moment, she enjoys the simple things in life.
“I like to listen to music, hang out with friends, go to the caf or not the caf...just go out and get food.”
With a health and physical education major, along with coaching and business minors, Olyvia could see herself as a coach or elementary school PE teacher after graduation.
Olyvia values golf for the chance it provides her to de-stress.
“I think my favorite part of the sport is how relaxed it is. When I go out and play golf in the afternoon, I don’t really feel like it’s a practice. Like, I feel like it’s just time to calm down from my day at school. So, it’s more fun for me than anything else. I just enjoy it.”
-- by Elizabeth Nisly, Sports Information Intern