Madison Sloan always enjoyed golf. But it wasn’t until last year that the Havelock High senior made a serious effort to get competitive. It paid off with an appearance in the state 3A tournament.
She continued to work and made another appearance at the state tournament this season. Now, she’s turned that work into an opportunity to play golf in college.
Sloan signed her national letter of intent to play golf at Presbyterian College last week at Havelock High.
"I really like the fact that it was a Division I school and that it was smaller," Sloan said. "When I met the coach, I liked it. It just felt like I belonged there."
Presbyterian is a liberal arts college located in Clinton, S.C., between Greenville and Spartanburg, S.C. The campus has about 1,200 students.
"It’s a small town, kind of like here, but 30 minutes away you have some large towns, so you’re not completely isolated," she said.
Sloan also considered Belmont-Abbey and the University of Tampa, but her academic future also was key in her decision.
"I’m planning to major in business administration or management, and PC has a really good business program, so that was appealing to me also," she said.
As for the golf program, the Blue Hose compete in the Big South Conference and are in their seventh season with coach Thomas Addison at the helm.
"I really like the coach and I really like his teaching style," Sloan said. "Their golf program is good. They should have a strong team coming up, and I think that with more players, they can win more. I just felt like they have a lot of good courses and good equipment and good technology for their practices."
Sloan completed her senior season at the state 3A tournament, where she shot back-to-back 89s to finish in a tie for 18th in cold, blustery and rainy conditions brought on by Hurricane Sandy.
"The wind was terrible. It was windy and freezing cold," Sloan said. "The first day it rained. It just wasn’t ideal conditions. States are always bad conditions. I don’t think we’ve ever had nice weather for states."
Now that her season is over and she has signed to play in college, Sloan said her work is not done if she wants to reach her goals.
"I would really like to be in the top 5 and play in some matches," she said of her freshman season that will start in the fall of 2013. "I really want to play in the tournaments. I am going to work really hard this summer to make sure that I qualify. I really want to work hard to get ready for the college season."
She said her work won’t necessarily involve the mechanics of her golf swing.
"I probably need to work better on my scoring," said Sloan, who’s low round this high school season was a 77. "I can hit the ball well, but I can’t exactly validate that with my scores."
She thanked her parents and coaches for helping her learn to play golf.
"My dad taught me some, and then my coach Nina Foust helped me," she said. "She really got my swing to where it is today. She’s really good."