AriAnne Griffy is good with a putter. Emma Horner’s iron game is sharp. Cylie Lagao loves her driver. All three inseparable friends, each a 13-year-old girl from Sisters, have built an undeniable love of golf. And they have done it together.
The trio have become a fixture at Black Butte Ranch. They show up several days a week, each week, to work on their games with Jeff Fought, Black Butte Ranch’s director of golf. They’ve done this almost religiously since last June. And each week they show improvement and grow a greater appreciation for golf.
“They all love golf so much that they would come out, no matter the weather,” Fought says.
The key? Well, it could come from strength in numbers.
“It has made it easier not working with complete strangers and actually with people you go to school with,” Cylie says, adding how much support she gets from her two friends.
“It also makes it a little bit competitive,” Emma adds. “We are all really competitive. I grew up VERY competitive. … I always want to try to do the best.”
All three were drawn to golf for different reasons. Emma moved to Sisters three years ago and began hitting balls in her backyard and “I really enjoyed it,” she says. Cylie is the daughter of her dad, Phil, who is Black Butte Ranch’s superintendent. AriAnne fell in love with the game by playing with her grandparents, she says.
Together they push each other to become better golfers. They play a daily scramble together, which helps ease the pressure of the game, they agree. It also makes golf a more enjoyable team game, they say.
Each in seventh grade, they are a rare breed in their class, they say. Not too many girls their age play golf.
“People just look at you weird when you say that you want to play golf,” Cylie says.
No matter. They all keep coming back for their own reasons. Yes, they all want to develop their golf games enough to play in high school, and hopefully one day “get into college with golf,” AriAnne says.
But their love of the game goes deeper than that. A greater motivation must exist to keep them coming back to the course day after day.
“My grandma always inspired me to play golf, and I kind of come back for her,” Emma says. “Before she dies I want to be in college golf. But also it’s really fun to play with these guys. If it was just random people who didn’t like me I probably wouldn’t come back.
“It’s been part of my life ever since I was SO little so it would feel unnatural if I didn’t come back,” Cylie says. “I love the sport and all the rules. And it’s also a way for me to bond with my father. We can just go out there and hit balls together.”
AriAnne’s enjoyment comes from a simpler place.
“Golf always calms me down after a long day,” she says.
Whatever their motivation, it seems to be working.
Want to learn in a group setting like AriAnne, Emma and Cylie? Black Butte Ranch can help with group programs designed for golfers of all ages and abilities. That includes three-day weekly camps in the summer designed specifically for juniors and an adult-child golf school program.
For more information on how to take a lesson from Jeff or any of our Black Butte Ranch instructors, visit our lessons page. The link also includes a calendar of Black Butte Ranch’s golf schools, clinics and camps.
From left, AriAnne Griffy, Emma Horner, Jeff Fought and Cylie Lagao pose in front of the Glaze Meadow practice green.