Caroline Cantlay may be a standout golfer, but what the Rosary High School sophomore might be most proud of is how she came to the sport—all on her own.
“Ever since I was little, my family has always been really big on golf,” says Cantlay. “I started playing when I was really little, about 2 or 3 [years old] was when I first picked up a club.
“But as I got older, 6 to 10 years old, probably, I did not like the sport at all. I thought it was an awful sport, and I didn’t play for about four years.”ARVE Error: need id and provider
Around age 11 Cantlay watched one of her older brothers play and became inspired. His success in golf got her thinking about the opportunities that might come her way if she picked up the clubs and began playing again. She did just that and discovered a new love for the sport she first played as a toddler.
“It’s been a great experience coming to the sport on my own,” says Cantlay.
And with the support of her family, Cantlay has been able to approach her second time around as a golfer on her own terms.
“My family definitely tells me that if I don’t want to play, they’re not forcing me,” says the 15-year-old. “Just the thought of knowing that…however hard I want to work will take me where I want to go with it, I’m in complete control.”
Although golf is mostly an individual sport, Cantlay embraces the team aspect of golf, especially when it comes to representing the Royals out on the course.
“I love my teammates. They are some of the greatest girls I’ve met at Rosary,” says Cantlay. “I know that I can trust them with anything. We really work as a team.”
Cantlay has earned the respect of the girls she plays alongside, and hopes to help lead them to a CIF appearance this season.
“She brings out the best in her teammates’ performance,” says Rosary golf coach Steve Hiskey of the school’s No. 1 golfer. “Her teammates aspire to match or better her scores, which has made us better as a team.”
The Los Alamitos resident is excited about the possibility of golfing at the collegiate level, ideally staying in California. But for now, Cantlay is enjoying being out on the course, playing for herself and choosing her own direction.
“Being out on the golf course, it’s very beautiful. It reminds me when I’m out there…that God’s surrounding me everywhere that I am,” says Cantlay. “It’s quiet and I can be myself. It’s a place where I can surround myself with only my thoughts and I can make decisions on my own.”