Caley McGinty builds an early foundation for women’s golf

Caley McGinty competing in the Sunshine Shootout in Oldsmar, Florida. McGinty finished first and led Kent State to victory in the dual-meet against Michigan State. Feb. 22-23, 2021.

Pilar Lewis Sports Reporter

After COVID-19 ended Caley McGinty’s freshman season on the Kent State golf team, Caley packed her bags and went back home to England. 

But the COVID lockdown there was just as bad as the one she left in Ohio. 

“When COVID first hit and I had to get back home, I couldn’t play golf for nine weeks straight,” McGinty said. “Then it was really hard to get back into it after that. I’m the kind of person that needs to practice every day.”

When McGinty got back to the golf course, she played well enough to be selected to two prestigious international women’s amateur teams. She will represent England for the 2021 GB&I Vagliano Trophy, a women’s  international match between Great Britain, Ireland and other European countries, and in the Curtis Cup competition with the United States.

 

At Kent State this fall, COVID-19 restricted her team, which could only practice.

After returning to the course this semester, the Flashes finished fourth in their first tournament and beat No. 30 Michigan State by 26 strokes in a dual meet. The Flashes are ranked 11th in the country.

“Caley did a tremendous job for us this fall,” coach Lisa Strom said. “She’s a silent leader and leads by example. She’s that type of kid that just really commits to doing the hard work and there’s never a day where she’s coming to practice only putting in 50% effort. Every coach would love to be able to have a couple of her on their team.”

McGinty, who is from Bristol, England, was one of many top international players recruited by former coach Greg Robertson. She finished 12th in the English Women’s Amateur Championship in 2018.

“The transition was really easy,” McGinty said. “The culture isn’t that different from here to home because it feels like a family out here. I’ve never been homesick.” 

But golf, she said, was a little different.

“At home we play a lot more links golf courses, so it’s a lot more in the wind,” McGinty said. “You have to keep it very low. Out here, you have to hit it a lot further.” Links courses, which are common in Britain, are usually on coastal areas with sand dunes and few trees.

McGinty finished last season ranked 34th in the country and recieved All-American honorable mention. She had a 70.86 scoring average, Kent State’s second best. 

“I treat every round like it’s a tournament, even though it’s practice,” McGinty said. “I just try to keep it intense because you never know when we will be playing again.”

McGinty won this week’s Sunshine Shootout against Michigan State and finished seventh in the women’s season opener at the UCF Challenge at the University of Central Florida. 

“I try not to think about the results too much,” McGinty said. “I just try to trust my training and take each day as it comes.”

McGinty and her team will be competing in the Florida State Match-Up this weekend in Tallahassee, Florida.

Pilar is a sports reporter. Contact her at [email protected]