Marlow’s unconventional entry into golf yields success

Lauren Marlow’s childhood interest was horseback riding, but it was later replaced by golf, a sport in which Marlow excels.


Athlete of the week: Lauren Marlow, women’s golf. | Courtesy of Biola Athletics

Conner Penfold, Writer

Marlow isn’t born into golfing

Junior transfer Lauren Marlow is not your typical golfer. She didn’t come out of the womb holding a six-iron club, nor did she spend hours playing the sport from an early age, as the cliché prodigy golf story usually goes. While many will tell you that the beginnings of golf are strenuously difficult, Biola women’s golfer Marlow’s story tells a different tale.

Marlow did grow up around the game, watching her stepbrothers and stepfather play golf in her younger years, but with other hobbies on her mind, golf never attracted her interest.

“My parents wanted me to start playing when I was five, but I liked horses,” Marlow said. “I rode horses and that’s what I wanted to do.”

But after she and her mother moved to Oregon, Marlow began to lose her passion for horseback riding.

“I kind of got burnt out on the rodeo aspect of it because it was just about who could spend the most money on the best horses,” Marlow said.

Golf comes naturally per her mother’s suggestion

With her fervor for horses all but gone, her mom suggested she attend a clinic that a nearby golf course was hosting, and after spending nearly three and half hours with various teaching professionals, at age 14 it was clear Marlow had found a new sport. The teachers were shocked at her raw talent, despite her being relatively unfamiliar with the game up until that point.

The game clearly came easy to her, and quickly developed into more than just an interest, and after four years of high school golf, Marlow attended Fresno City College in an attempt to better her game in hopes of a four-year university noticing her. But that, Marlow said, is not always easy at a junior college.

“Not many schools knew about me because I was at a junior college and most of the time schools don’t think junior colleges have that great of players,” she said.

Transfer to Biola gives Marlow the chance she was looking for

With that being the case, Marlow approached head men’s and women’s golf coach Hank Woodrome about playing for Biola, and he was more than thrilled to add a talent like Marlow to the squad.

“She’s the steadiest player I’ve had in my two years here by far,” Woodrome said. “She’s played really well for us.”

Marlow has added a level of talent to the team that Biola hasn’t seen since 2007 when senior transfer Jennifer Yoo led the first-year program. Marlow’s scoring average sits around 78 in three tournaments, along with her personal best one-over par rounds of 73 and 74 that have helped lead to the team to better finishes than in year’s past. The team’s fourth place finish in last week’s Culturame Classic hosted by George Fox University was the program’s best finish in its five-year existence.

While the ultimate goal of golf is to get the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible, Marlow says she and the team try to focus less on the score, but on what Marlow describes as “playing for the right reasons.” That mindset produced drastic improvement in the team’s play in the fall.

“Three or four girls have had their best rounds, including myself,” Marlow said. “The team is playing really well and improving, and playing for the right reasons, which is to play for God.”

Marlow and the rest of the girl’s squad have finished up play for the fall season and will enjoy some beneficial rest before starting back up for the spring season.

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