Brooke Riffey- Swinging for PHS Varsity Golf


Luka Vaicekauskas

Swinging at the golf course, senior Brooke Riffey shares about her experience about playing varsity golf at Plant. Now, after playing 4 years at Plant High School, Brooke gives advice to new players, reflects on her experiences, and reminisces on her growth as a varsity athlete.

Luka Vaicekauskas, Features Editor

Golf is not a sport for everyone. Required discipline, perfectionism, and relying only on yourself while fighting the “Me V. Mind” battle are constant struggles players both in high school and professional level face. Such too is the daily routine for Brooke Riffey, a senior at Plant High School and a golfer since pre-kindergarten.  

When four years old, Riffey’s dad placed a club in her hand, and took her to the golf course to practice her skills- and that’s when the passion for golf was sparked. 

“I have been playing for 14 years. My dad played golf for a long time, and he picked me up on it when I was 4- he would take me to the courses and I played at little tournaments, but then I quit and played basketball for 6 years, while still occasionally playing golf. And then 7th grade I began to pick up on golf again and have been playing ever since,” Riffey said. 

Riffey is the current number 5 of the Women’s Varsity Team A, with a strength in chipping, and even a part-time job that surrounds her sport. 

“I have been taking lessons at Golftec for like 3 years, and when I switched coaches, a year and a half ago my new coach asked me if I wanted a summer job, but I didn’t do the summer portion of the job, which just transitioned into like a weekend job. I do the maintenance on the stuff- like if something breaks I usually fix it- and I also help receive clubs. So I don’t coach but help around,” Riffey said. 

And while playing a varsity sport with a rigorous school schedule and an a part-time job required skilled time management skills, Riffey has enjoyed her experience- both in building close friendships, but too evolving as an athlete. When asked about her favorite memory as part of the PHS Golf Team, Riffey’s eyes filled with nostalgic joy.  

“My junior year golf as a whole was great as that is when we won regionals for the first time, as we missed regionals my freshman and sophomore year, and states by a stroke, which is just one more put by somebody else, and we were so sad that we didn’t, but this year we are shooting to win and it is such a great feeling. The competitive environment of this sport is very motivating, and I have met a lot of great people through through it,” Riffey said.  

And while Riffey does not plan to settle at a college just for golf, she has been working towards her own personal goals in the sport, as continuing her legacy at the All American Team.  

“They take the top 10 players form each district and then they break it down to 2-3 teams, and take in the average. Last year I was the 40-41, this year my average is similar, but I hope I make it to the first team. But either one is fine, as they show that you are one of top 10 players in the district, which is a very meaningful achievement,” Riffey said. 

Riffey agreed that there is a lot of pressure by being a senior playing golf, especially because the new team members look up to them for guidance, as well as the clock ticking with the 4 years coming to an end. 

“This year was so stressful as I was in the heat of golf season, college applications, and trying to manage a really rigorous schedule, because if you start taking AP classes, you rather continue, but this year I had to back down from a couple classes I wanted to take. I really wanted to make senior year golf ti be the best because of the ALL American teams, and time management. Like I come back home at 6-7 pm and practice my swing and am really focused,” Riffey said.  

Riffey likes golf because of how individual it is- where one can rely on nobody but oneself. To do the work, see the progress and the dedication pay off, and being the only person that can acquire the skills you want, Riffey finds it very motivational. But certainly, Riffey gives credit to the people that made her the athlete she is today- her dad and her coaches. 

“My dad motivates me the most- especially this year; he has been coming to more matches, as this is my senior season and my brother is gone. He has been taking notes of every round I play and takes me to practice every weekend, so he has been a great motivator to work harder and try harder,” Riffey said. “Coaches also had a huge impact on me as an athlete- “Coach Steve, the boys’ golf coach, he is very active in the girls’ team too, and every time I hit a bad shot he always tells me to stay cool and positive. Ms. Cook, the new coach this year, has been super awesome and I really enjoy her presence. And of course, Coach Huff, he has been with me all four years and it was great to have him there, and he is always really funny and helps me stay positive.” 

To conclude, this senior year of high school has been an adventure for Riffey, but along it come real life lessons.  

“Just enjoy it and take in every moment and let it soak in because these four years have shown by so fast and I wish I could go back to freshman year and re-do it all, as it was really enjoyable. You always have time to work on skills- so enjoy every match, even if your skills are not showing that day.”