Today, I’m flying to Philadelphia for a dear friend’s wedding. As I packed my bags, I found myself pondering our special bond. What ties us together? Golf. Our relationship has been a testament to how sports, particularly golf, can cultivate friendships that stand the test of time. This is a story about a friendship formed on the backdrop of greens and fairways, that now extends well beyond the confines of the game.

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Friends From the Fairway

My friend’s name is Maddy Herr. We first met the summer of 2012 at the PA Girls State Junior Championship. Paired together in the final group, we competed for a title neither of us had won. Despite the competitive dynamic, it was anything but hostile. It felt more like a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood. Conversation flowed, and our personalities clicked.

Maddy ended up winning (still gets me to this day haha), but more importantly, I gained a lifelong best friend.

Following that summer, we entered our freshman year of high school. Being from the same state, I knew we’d cross paths often in various competitions. Almost every junior, amateur, and state event Maddy and I reconnected. We’d play practice rounds, share meals and get ice cream if our moms were feeling generous, and slowly a friendship formed on and off the fairway.

Then, in the fall of my junior year, the USGA introduced the Inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball. Maddy texted me a few days later, asking if I wanted to team up for a qualifier. We qualified with a round of golf that was incredibly fun and perfectly synchronized. The next day, we were booking flights to Bandon Dunes.

Our time at Bandon Dunes remains one of my fondest golf memories. We made it to the semi-finals and had an absolute blast. We had no expectations but to savor each moment. We without a doubt accomplished that and if anything our fun attitude allowed us to achieve a little more.

The following year, we played the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball again at Streamsong Resort and reached the quarterfinals. It was another extremely special week we were able to share together and with our parents. I’ll always cherish the memories we made in those two events.

Shortly after our second U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball, we graduated high school and headed to different colleges. Maddy went to Penn State to play, while I attended UNC. Our FaceTime calls kept us connected. I remember telling her about my exciting new college life , and my hopes to meet a baseball player. Months later, I called her again to tell her I was dating a football player – funny how things change.

Throughout college and the years since, Maddy has been my confidante on good and bad days. Navigating professional golf, her understanding of my struggles and triumphs has been invaluable. Maddy chose not to turn pro after college, and her distinct perspective has deepened our bond. Amid all the changes, golf remains the thread that ties us together.

In December, Maddy stood by my side as I married that football player I called her about during our freshman year. This Friday, I’ll stand beside her as she marries the baseball player she once FaceTimed me about. Quite ironic.

Reflecting on our relationship, it’s a testament to how golf has intertwined with our lives. Few people relate to me like Maddy does. Our shared love for golf and countless conversations on the greenest grass have drawn us closer. Our journeys have converged over time, and our friendship has extended well beyond the game.

I’m aware that many cherish the unique connections formed through sports. The shared passion for the game and the pursuit of improvement create something special. It is something we should always strive to savor. As I get older, I’m increasingly grateful for the relationships that golf has gifted me. This one with Maddy is undoubtedly one of the top on my list.

The Good Stuff

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” – Maya Angelou

Recently, I’ve found solace in the act of putting pen to paper to share a multitude of my stories. This has become a source of great joy for me.

Each person carries within them a unique story that adds to the beauty of the world. Life is all about exchanging these little gems with others, an act that has the potential to uplift both them and yourself in the process.