Notre Dame Freshman Takes On Tough Courses

When Heidi Voorhees, 14, won her age division in the L.A. City Junior Golf tournament in April, she was playing against unusual competition--girls. The Notre Dame High freshman has played her first high school season on the boys team because there is no girls team.

"It's nice but nothing different," Voorhees said.

Voorhees, who has played golf since she was 7 years old, has had little trouble adjusting to, and competing with, the boys this season. The 5-8, 110-pounder has a six-stroke handicap and has been the No. 4 golfer for the Knights (10-5, 2-4 in the Del Rey League), finishing out of the top five only once this season.

Last week, Voorhees shot 79 during a practice round on the par-72 Sandpiper Golf Course in Santa Barbara, the site of a Ladies Pro Golf Assn. tournament a week earlier.

If Voorhees places among the top four in the CIF tournament at North Ranch Country Club in June, she will qualify for the state championship at Pebble Beach.

But Voorhees is working for more than high school success. Her long-range goals include college and professional golf.

"Some guys gorilla-hit the ball 300 yards, but it's in the trees," Notre Dame Coach Rob Thomas said. "She hits it 240 yards but it's down the middle. She hits it far enough, but avoids trouble. It's her smooth swing. That's what gets the job done."

Voorhees appears to be unimpressed with her success and continues to work on her game by either playing or chipping into a net in her front yard every day.

"I keep thinking about college or the pros," she said. "It gives me a lot of incentive."

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