Elliott discovers lifelong hobby
Growing up in a house situated on a golf course, E.J. Elliott finally decided to give the sport a try in fourth grade.
At the urging of her mother, Emily, she hit the links for the first time.
"There was a camp going on," she said. "My mom signed me up and said, ‘Just try it. We’re right by the golf course, so it’s a really easy camp to get to.’"
After the week was over, Elliott was prodded into continuing to play.
"One of the instructors pulled me aside on the last day of camp and was like, ‘You’ve got a really good swing. You should probably get private lessons and keep going with this,’" she said.
But she still wasn’t convinced that golf was the right sport for her.
"I wasn’t all too thrilled about it at first," she said. "There’s a lot of stuff you need, you have to practice every day, and it’s cold."
A few years later, something finally clicked, and Elliott began enjoying the game.
"In seventh grade, I started getting pretty good and started seeing the potential," she said. "I just liked being outside and enjoying the outdoors."
Now Elliott is the senior captain for the Park City High School girls’ golf team and has led the team to its current second-place standing in Region 10.
She now takes pride in helping other girls on the team find the joy golf can bring.
"It can be a very serious, competitive sport," she said. "But you just have to make it fun for yourself. I really just try to encourage the girls. In golf, there’s always going to be good days and there’s always going to be bad days. Just being able to be with the girls when they’re having a bad day and talking them through it is important."
With two regular-season matches left, and trailing Uintah by 12 strokes in the overall standings, Elliott hopes to lead her team to the top of the Region 10 standings.
"I really want to stay under 90," she said. "I just really think I can shoot under that consistently."
And now that the weather is finally warming up, she said the team should be able to get some more practice time to work on the weakest part of its game.
"All of the team can drive it pretty far and get it onto the green," she said. "But when it comes to making putts or chipping from a hundred yards and in, it’s hard for us to get our short game going."
Next year, when her high school career is over, Elliott will be at the University of Virginia, trying to walk onto the golf team.
"I didn’t get offered a spot," she said. "But they have open tryouts, so I will try out."
She’ll do so while also trying to balance a physics major and an economics minor, degrees she’s not sure what she wants to do with.
"There are a lot of options that I have," she said. "I’m just going to go with what I’m interested in and see where that takes me."
But wherever she ends up, Elliott plans to have her golf clubs with her.
"It’s something that I can play when I’m 70 years old and I intend to play when I’m 70 years old," she said. "It’s a fun sport to keep going throughout your life. Compared to volleyball (a sport which Elliott played all four years at PCHS), that’s not something I’m going to be able to do when my knees give out."
GET TO KNOW E.J.
Favorite class: Physics
Favorite food: Anything
Favorite movie: "Zoolander"
Favorite band: The Kooks
Favorite sports teams: Kansas City Chiefs and Utah Jazz
Favorite sports (other than golf) to watch/play: Football, volleyball and basketball
Favorite sports moment: Getting an eagle on hole No. 18 at Soldier Hollow this year
Hobbies (other than sports):Painting
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Park City is the lone undefeated team in Region 10 play after a 60-30 win over Mountain View. The Miners have three more region games in their quest to repeat as region champions.