The Rogue News

Leila Bunker

Leila Bunker, Writer

Leila Bunker, a junior at Ashland High School and member of the Southern Oregon Golf Academy (SOGA), shares her experience with golf and how it helped her during the pandemic. Bunker started playing golf in 8th grade while living in California. She began playing because there was a course down the road. When she started, people told her that she had potential to be really good which pushed her to practice more. She practiced for hours every week until finally she reached the day before her first high school match. Bunker was out with a friend the day before and left her personal golf clubs in her friends’ car. After returning to the car, Bunker was rendered speechless. Her golf clubs were stolen and there wasn't a chance she could get a new set before her match the next day. However, the high school club she was participating in had sets of clubs she could borrow. Thankfully, she went through her first match smoothly and went to become a two-time varsity player. Still, she went 4 months without using a set of her own clubs. She described the different brands of clubs. “Each club has its own feel,” said Bunker, which makes it much harder to adjust to a new set that quickly. Through the year Bunker began to get discouraged and spent less time playing golf. Time passed to Leila’s sophomore year when her family picked up and moved to Ashland, Oregon. Bunker started school in winter at Ashland High School and she also joined SOGA. Shortly after starting school the global pandemic, COVID-19, shut down schools and other facilities. Thankfully for Bunker the Rogue Valley courses in Ashland, Phoenix and Medford all opened up relatively quick as it was easy to social distance. Bunker has played four days a week since the reopening and hopes that with practice she can earn a scholarship to university.

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Leila Bunker