Emma Lewis’ first time hitting a golf ball had a pretty drastic effect on her life.
Now a senior at GMC Prep, she went out on the course with her father a few years ago and took a swing.
“The first time I hit it, I smoked it,” Lewis said.
She wasn’t bragging. It was a fact. Lewis later joined the GMC Prep golf team where it didn’t take long for head coach Allen Simmons to notice her natural talent.
“The first time I saw her swing I said, ‘You do need to come play.’ She could hit it a mile,” Simmons said to those gathered for Lewis’ signing ceremony last week.
Three seasons of high school golf and many rounds later, Lewis on Thursday signed her letter of intent to join the Georgia Military College women’s golf team led by head coach Charles Van Horn.
“It’s home and I know the course very well,” she said after having put pen to paper. “It means a lot that Coach Van Horn sees the potential in me.”
The GMC signee showed great improvement throughout her high school career all the way until her last round at region this year where she put together her best 18-hole score.
“Big things are going to happen for Emma,” said Simmons. “She’s going to be able to keep practicing here on her home course, The Club at Lake Sinclair. She’ll get to work under Coach Van Horn whose knowledge of golf is a lot deeper than mine. The sky’s the limit.”
Lewis’ seemingly natural ability to go long on the course stems from years and years of having played softball, which she says has been both a blessing and a curse as her focus has turned more towards golf.
“It’s a disadvantage and an advantage at the same time,” Lewis said. “There’s a bunch of things I have to do differently with my feet. Sometimes it’s hard to remove my softball background. That’s one of the many reasons I’m so excited to continue playing golf at GMC because I know [Coach Van Horn] can make me better.”
GMC women’s golf is still a relatively young program compared to the junior college’s other offerings. Launched in 2018, Coach Van Horn’s Bulldogs won their first tournament in February and just sent their fourth golfer to vie for an individual NJCAA national championship in Florida this week.