On an open field next door to Dallas Carter High School, Anika Larzeia is busy at work perfecting her golf swing.
“My favorite thing about golf is hitting my driver,” said Larzeia, a Dallas Carter senior golfer. “I get to get all my anger out and just hit the ball.”
Anika now hits the ball extremely well less than two years after never having swung a golf club in her life.
“I didn’t know anything about golf,” said Larzeia. “That was actually my first time picking up a club. My coach told me I’m a natural golf player.”
Two years ago, her coach, Meredith Macleod, decided to start the Dallas Carter High School girls’ golf program from scratch.
“I was going around putting out flyers, meeting with kids in the cafeteria during lunch period,” said Dallas Carter athletics coordinator Harold Jones. “I was just trying to get some interest.”
“I looked at my mom and said I think I can do that, it’s just the process of swinging your arms,” said Larzeia. “So I went over to ask Coach Macleod if I could play and she said sure.”
And now, with hard work, and generous donations of golf clubs from the LPGA Women’s Golf Association of Dallas and golf course time at Cedar Crest Golf Course, the Carter Cowboys girls – led by girls like Anika, who have never played golf before – are not just playing golf, they are consistently competing for tournament wins.
“It’s an amazing story, considering a couple of years ago, we didn’t have golf,” said Jones. “In two years time, we’ve had our first regional qualifier on the girls team.”
That qualifier is Anika, who works on her new passion multiple times a week on this field, trying to perfect her swing, playing a game she now loves.
“In the years ahead, I plan to continue playing golf until my years are over.”