Niwot senior Laure Bourgin wasn’t sure what to expect when she took up golf a little over a year ago, but she wasn’t expecting to uncover a hidden talent. Now the senior is one of the rising stars on the emerging Niwot girls golf team and the sport she once thought of as “relatively interesting” has become a daily habit.
“It’s time consuming, but unlike most sports, it’s—I don’t know—elegant, for lack of a better term. I just really like a sport where I can really hone a skill....Golf is one of the few sports that’s individual and it helps me to be able to depend on myself and my skills and it’s something I can develop on my own.”
Bourgin’s first season with the Cougars was notable for the sharp downward trajectory of her 18-hole scores, from the 100s in the early weeks to the low-90s after just a few competitive rounds. By the end of the season, the newcomer had solidified her spot on the Cougars’ varsity roster, and just narrowly missed qualifying for the Class 4A state championships.
By then, Bourgin was firmly in the grip of golfing fever, and continued daily practices and weekly swing lessons during the offseason. She even had some success on the local junior competition circuit, and was the surprised but gratified winner of last summer’s Longmont city championship.
Suffice it to say, Bourgin’s expectations are high for her senior season, and so far she has been living up to them. Nearly every tournament she’s played in so far in 2019 has meant a new personal best, and she is quickly closing in on another major milestone: breaking the 80-shot mark in an 18-hole round.
“What I hope to really improve on is just the consistency of my game,” Bourgin said of her focus for the year. “It seems that I’ll do good on the irons, but my putting won’t be so good on that day, or it will be the opposite. My goal for this year is to just be consistently good in all of the aspects of golf—putting and hitting my long shots. Hopefully with the combination of most of them, I’ll be able to hit in the 70s this season. I’m really excited for that.”
Not that you’d know it from looking at her. Bourgin’s serene demeanor on the course, especially in the face of adversity, has been almost as remarkable as her rapid rise through in the Northern League rankings. According to Bourgin, it’s also one of the more useful skills she’s cultivated over the last few months.
“I think that being calm during a tournament is very important. There are many people who have the skills but because they get so mad, it messes with their game.”
Head golf coach Ed Weaver agreed, and added that her serenity has also been a big asset to the team
“She brings a calming and mature element to the team, and she’s a great contributor in that regard. Earlier in the season, I gave her a leadership challenge with one of the younger players, and she stood right up and took it.”
When she’s not out on the course. Bourgin is probably somewhere studying for the seven IB exams she has coming up later this spring. If she survives that and graduates, Bourgin plans to attend college, though is still deciding between her top choices (DU, University of San Francisco, and University of British Columbia). She is also still trying to decide what she wants to study when she gets there, and is weighing international affairs or education.
As for golf, Bourgin plans to keep playing and competing whenever possible, and is looking forward to indulging her passion for a long time to come.
“Even if I don’t decide to play professionally, I can always play it on my own, and I think that’s really cool,” she said. “I might not ever be the top of the top, but I do think I can play golf on the side or perhaps teach it. I’ve always liked working with other people, so perhaps I can use my skills to help other players get better at golf.”