The Confidence Of Kara Brinkmann

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When a golfer approaches the next shot, he or she will take a moment to game-plan the next move. That person will likely take a couple practice swings, see what obstacles he or she is facing this time, square up to the tee, and take the shot. At that point, it’s nearly impossible to predict where the dimpled comet will end up once it rockets off the club. That is, of course, unless that golfer is Ohio senior Kara Brinkmann.

“When I’m on, and I have that confidence in my swing, I know exactly where the ball is going to go,” she said

That is the confidence of Brinkmann. The most valuable asset she has in her bag isn’t a driver or putter, but her self-assurance. That confidence is what allows her to play her best, even after a lackluster performance.

On multiple occasions over the past two years, Brinkmann has demonstrated a pattern of staring events slow and improving her score round by round. Just this fall season, Brinkmann opened the Nittany Lion Invitational with an 86, then reducing her stroke count to a 76 in the second round, and then a 74 on the last 18 holes.

“It started off really rocky on the first day,” Brinkmann admitted of her weekend in University Park, Pa. “Then, it just became a matter of staying focused and staying in the game.”

Maintaining that composure is much easier said than done, though. Even the best golfers in the world have a bad round, a bad tournament, or maybe even just one bad hole that can demolish their spot in the standings. However, Brinkmann recognizes that there’s no chance to get out of those funks if she dwells on her mistakes.

“It can get frustrating at times, but you can’t let it get to you,” Brinkmann said. “You have to know, ‘Hey, I can be better than this,’ and just go back out there … and have the confidence to finish strong.”

Women’s golf head coach Kelly Ovington has been preaching a message of fearlessness and confidence to her players since the start of the season, and that message clearly hasn’t fallen on deaf ears. Brinkmann says her coach’s attitude has had a positive effect on the Bobcats as a team, and that her teammates are always there to reinforce her self-esteem after a rough day.

“After a bad day, they cheer you up, and they tell you you’re going to do great the next day,” Brinkmann said.

With the final competition of the women’s golf team’s fall season, the Rocket Classic, underway, Brinkmann and her fellow Bobcats have the chance to go into the winter break off of a strong performance. Even if the first few holes in Toledo don’t go according to plan, Brinkmann, like she always does, will bring the positivity in an attempt to help bring up her score in the later rounds.