ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – Anchorage 17-year-old Abigail Ante has simply loved the game of golf ever since she first picked up the clubs.
“I was eight and my dad brought me to the range and ever since then I just loved it,” Ante said. “I took my first lesson, actually here at AGC and just always came back.”
As her classmates and friends at South Anchorage High School compete in sports against peers their age, Ante is often on the course competing against golfers more twice her elder in the only state in America that does not sponsor high school golf. Ante is an incoming senior and works at the Anchorage Golf Course Pro Shop when she is not on the links herself.
”I know there are people my age who would love to do golf in high school and I think that would definitely help with the junior classes too,” Ante said. “I know that the season is so short, but maybe during the winter, go to the simulators for like a month, or just like a club for golf just to meet other golfers.”
And still, the lefty more than holds her own on the course, winner of the 2020 Alaska Match Play Championships at just 15 years old, before taking first in the Anchorage Open Women’s field last summer. Last weekend, she placed second in the Alaska State Women’s Amateur Championships for consecutive years.
“That’s the beauty of golf, you have a bad hole and then you’ve got to switch your mindset, and then the next hole you get a birdie, it is very much that kind of game,” Ante said.
Whether she realizes it or not, what Ante is doing at this age, in this sport, in this state, has elevated her to role model status for youth golfers in Alaska.
“It’s insane, like that’s all I ever want is like little girls looking up to me and it kind of makes me emotional if I see a young girl [golfing],” Ante said. “Like the other day, [a girl] had the same head cover as me and was like, ‘good luck today’ and it just melted my heart, it was so sweet, it is amazing.”
For those who have yet to pick up the clubs, Ante suggests just giving it a try.
”Just do it and have fun, it doesn’t matter if you’re good or bad,” Ante said. “If you have a good group of friends, just bring them to a golf course and just have fun, that’s all that matters.”
Ante will attempt to defend her title at the Anchorage Open Aug. 27-28 to close out her summer of competition. She hopes to play collegiate golf next fall, but until then, she will continue working at the Pro Shop and when the snow comes back around, Ante will head back to the indoor simulators.
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