After a rocky start in her first season at IU, freshman Emma Fisher has played her way into the women’s golf lineup recently by improving the mental aspects of her game.
Fisher, an alumna of Bloomington High School South, played her first tournament in the Hoosier lineup last weekend at the IU Invitational on the IU Golf Course.
In front of family and friends, Fisher set personal bests with a three-round score of 225(+9) and an eighth-place finish.
Fisher said it was great to be able to play in front of family, which included some she hadn’t seen in a while and some who hadn’t seen her play recently.
“It was really good to have the support I have had in previous years in high school matches, just out here supporting me in my college career,” Fisher said. “I know they’re always going to be there, but it’s great to have that physicality there. Their support means everything to me.”
Fisher has also benefitted from playing for IU Coach Clint Wallman, who has coached and given her lessons since she was 10 years old. Fisher said she first worked with Wallman at an IU golf summer camp and later began to take lessons with him a few times a month.
Fisher said Wallman has become a father figure for her and she couldn’t imagine playing for anyone else.
“I think he knows me a little better than the rest of the girls and he knows the way I’m wired so it’s good for that coaching aspect,” Fisher said. “But also he’s a really good guy and I’m really lucky to have him as a coach.”
Wallman said it is a rare opportunity to be able to work with a student-athlete for so long and also said watching Fisher develop physically, emotionally and mentally has been a gratifying experience as a coach and as a person.
After being a top player for much of her high school career, Fisher said it was weird for her to come into the IU program and be the underdog. Wallman said Fisher had distinct talent and that the one thing she lacked coming into IU was experience competing at the college level.
“I think being exposed to that has really opened her eyes,” Wallman said. “She sees how attainable being an elite-level player is and that she doesn’t need to do too much outside of just hone her game and make it the best version of her game every time out.”
Since going through an adjustment period in the fall, Fisher has played in three tournaments this spring. In the first two, she competed as an individual and improved her play each time out to earn a spot in the lineup for the IU Invitational.
Fisher said her improvements have come more in the mental part of her game than on the physical end. She said she hit the ball well at the IU Invitational, but her main focus was keeping her composure, especially on the first day of the tournament when the team played 36 holes.
Wallman said that as Fisher has improved the mental aspects of her game and worked hard to improve overall, her hard work has paid off on the scorecard.
“Emma has worked very hard, and she is starting to see that with working hard and working smart, she is on her way,” Wallman said. “She has made a huge commitment to her mental game and her emotional game in terms of how she manages herself on the golf course, the decisions that she makes, and it has reflected in her score.”
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