Megan Growt received a gift basket from her teammates before leaving for the WIAA state girls golf meet this year.
The De Pere senior received gum to calm her nerves. There was some chocolate to make her feel better following a rough hole. A cheap golf ball was also thrown in just in case she ran out of the Titleist Pro V1 balls she usually used.
But the most important item Growt got to pack inside her golf bag was a picture of her team.
“There was a Post-it note on it,” said Growt, who is Press-Gazette Media’s girls golfer of the year. “It said, ‘Even though we can’t be with you at state, we’ll still be at your side.’”
Growt went on to tie for 15th in her fourth WIAA Division 1 state appearance.
The Fox River Classic Conference player of the year had a 39.0 nine-hole average in conference play and finished as the FRCC meet medalist for a second straight year this season.
She won her first sectional title and earned third-team all-state honors from the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin for a second consecutive year after posting her second top 15 finish at state.
However, Growt’s biggest accomplishment during her senior season was carrying the Redbirds to their first conference title in program history.
“I’m definitely glad we won conference this year, so we could leave a conference plaque behind,” Growt said.
“I thought that was pretty special. This is a big school, and a lot of kids come through this school, and it’s just good to know you did accomplish something.”
Growt never pictured she would become an accomplished golfer. She was better known for her dancing ability upon entering high school.
“I’ve always kind of been a step ahead in dance,” said Growt, who has done studio dancing since she was 3. “I was always the young one and the little girl in the dances.”
Much like her dance routines, Growt quickly became a sensation on the golf course for De Pere. As a freshman, she was the No. 2 player and posted the team’s best score in the Redbirds’ first WIAA state appearance in program history in 2012.
She went on to earn first-team all-FRCC honors three times, win two regional titles and advance to state as an individual qualifier each season.
“Her dancing definitely helps her lower-body strength,” De Pere coach Guy Ruthmansdorfer said.
“That’s why she’s a good golfer. That strength is a common trait for girls golfers that are really good.”
Growt doesn’t take a big backswing on her tee shots. However, she makes up for it with a strong follow through.
“I didn’t even know I did that,” Growt said.
“I think it’s definitely from dance, just the flexibility to turn and all the motion that you do with a golf swing. I love both. I think I would go crazy if I only had one. I need both in my life to balance it out.”
The same could be said as to how Growt feels about her teammates, which is why it was so important to her to carry that team picture at state.
“When I say I love my teammates, that’s such an understatement,” Growt said. “They’re my best friends.
“It was so special. I’m definitely never going to forget this season. Everything about it was so fun.”
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2015 Press-Gazette Media all-area girls golf team
Elizabeth Bobinski, sr., G.B. Notre Dame: Placed third at sectionals and tied for 21st at the WIAA Division 1 state meet on the way to receiving honorable mention all-state accolades from the Golf Coaches Association of Wisconsin.
Megan Growt, sr., De Pere: The FRCC player of the year won 11 events, including a D1 sectional title. The third-team all-state choice tied for 15th in her fourth D1 state appearance.
Stephanie Staed, sr., G.B. Notre Dame: Helped the Tritons win regional and sectional titles for a 12th straight year. Won an individual regional title and received honorable mention all-state accolades.
Kayla Thielen, sr., Marinette: The North Eastern Conference co-player of the year finished as the D2 state runner-up in her first state appearance and was an honorable mention all-state choice.
Katie Warpinski, jr., G.B. Preble: Placed second at regionals and fourth at sectionals to help the Hornets advance to state as a team for the first time since 2007.
Coach of the year — De Pere coach Guy Ruthmansdorfer: The Redbirds won their first conference title in program history at the FRCC championship, which was one of seven events De Pere won under the first-year head coach this year.
Lyndsey Bielinski, sr., Denmark; Victoria Draxler, sr., Wrightstown; Leah Hansen, jr., Denmark; Sara Jorgensen, sr., De Pere; Annie Schneider, so., G.B. Preble.
Maddie Brosteau, sr., De Pere; Sydney Onesti, sr., G.B. Preble; Anna Pesola, jr., Seymour; Megan Ryan, jr., Oconto; Madi Winter, so., Pulaski.
– Andrew Pekarek, Press-Gazette Media