Okanagan golfer Rutherglen makes huge strides, signs American scholarship

Only two years after taking up the game full-time, Lauren Rutherglen accepts scholarship offer from Davis St

When Immaculata student Lauren Rutherglen decided to hand in her competitive figure skates for golf clubs at the start of 2012 she was like a lot of new golfers: Struggling to break 100.

But in the span of six months, thanks to her dogged determination and a golf bag full of natural ability, the 16-year-old had trimmed as much as 30 strokes from her game and was routinely firing rounds in the 70s.

And in the two years since taking up golf full-time, Rutherglen’s game has taken off. She was named top female golfer at the B.C. High School single-A provincials and won the ladies club championship at the Harvest this summer. Then she nearly knocked off the Pacific Northwest’s top-ranked female player in the Pacific-Northwest Golf Association’s junior girls amateur championships, a prestigious match-play event featuring the best junior golfers from B.C., Washington and Oregon.

On top of that she has continued with a near straight A high school report card and she has secured an NCAA scholarship to Adam State University beginning in 2014 where she will continue to play golf and focus on her post secondary education.

“It’s amazing the progress she has made in a short period of time,” said Chad Scott, Rutherglen’s coach and the head pro at the Harvest. “It’s really the amount of work that she put in. She’s driven to succeed. She has unlimited potential.”

After years of focusing on figure skating, Rutherglen switched gears in 2012, finding the individual sport of golf more to her liking. She controlled her results rather than being judged.

“Figure skating got to be too much for me,” said Rutherglen adding that all of the mental training as a skater helped her switch sports. “At first I found the mental part of golf hard but I just tapped into the experience I had from skating. I had to skate by myself in front of judges and with golf I have to get into a zone but I know I’m not being judged. I just get in a mental place where I know what I can do and from there I try to stay in the zone.”

Rutherglen’s work ethic goes beyond the practice range. Along with her golf and school schedule, she also holds down a part-time job. And she didn’t sit back and wait for college coaches to find out who she was. Rutherglen was proactive in sending out swing videos and information to NCAA schools as she looked for an opportunity to turn her golf talent into a scholarship. She ended up with some choice in the matter but after an official visit to Adam State in Alamosa, Colorado, she fell in love with the campus in the small university city.

“It’s a lot like B.C. climate-wise and there were tons of mountains,” she said. “It was the atmosphere and the coach and hearing how passionate he was about winning and making the team better. I’m just really excited to get down there and get the coaching. I love playing golf and I’m really thankful that I can get an education while playing it.”

Rutherglen begins her post secondary career in the fall of next year. In the meantime she will play with Immaculata’s high school team in the spring and will continue to work on her game at her home course the Harvest.

Just Posted

Firefighters have doused a Peachland house fire

Fire crews are still on scene investigating the cause of the BBQ fire which made its way to the home

Wilson M. Beck Charity Golf Tournament in Kelowna benefiting YMCA of Okanagan

The tournament is sold out with 144 golfers swinging for the cause

Is construction in Kelowna hurting small businesses, or helping them?

Voices from both sides of the spectrum weigh in

Kelowna baseballers invited to league all-star game

The 2019 West Coast League All-Star Game will have two players from the Kelowna Falcons

Casa Loma residents petition to halt proposed Blackmun Bay project

West Kelowna City Council grants second reading for what would be the city’s largest development

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

False report of dead body leads police to sex dolls at Manning Park

Princeton RCMP breathed a sigh of relief, momentarily, when they discovered a… Continue reading

Ironman returns to Okanagan after seven-year absence

Subaru Ironman Canada is coming back to Penticton in 2020

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Special memorial service to say goodbye to murdered Kelowna teen

A memorial service and celebratio of life was held Tuesday for murdered teen Elijah-Iain Beauregard

Okanagan College campus flies Syilx flag

The Okanagan Nation Alliance flag was raised at a ceremony at Vernon campus on July 16

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

Most Read