Getting ready “fore” fall

California native, Maddelyn Zack, will be joining Oakland University’s women’s golf team next year.

By Ally Racey

From hitting the books to hitting the green, freshmen Kylee Sullivan, Zaafina Naqvi and Maddie Zack have chosen to further their passion for golf at Oakland University.

As new members of the team, the trio is looking forward to playing at the college level.

“It has always been a dream of mine to compete at the Division 1 level and now it’ll be a dream come true,” Zack said.

Sullivan, Naqvi and Zack started golfing when they were around seven years old. Each of them played for different teams and organizations above the high school level.

Sullivan, a graduate from Cheyenne Mountain High in Colorado, plays for the Colorado Junior Golf Association and the Pikes Peak Junior Golf Association.

 Naqvi attended Korah Collegiate and Vocational School in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada and played for team Ontario in 2012.

“I started taking a few swings myself and found I had a natural talent for it, so I kept playing,” Naqvi said.

Zack is a graduate from Poway High in California and a current member of the San Diego Junior Golf Association. She said the organization taught her all the rules and proper etiquette of the game.

“As I began to shoot better scores, I qualified for the more prestigious tours, such as America Junior Golf Association and Toyota Tour Cup,” Zack said.

Zack played for other organizations including the North County Junior Golf Association and Future Champion tournaments.

“There is no better feeling than hitting a crisp iron shot, bombing a drive right in the middle of the fairway, or draining a birdie putt,” Zack added.

Denver University and the University of Northern Colorado recruited Sullivan, but she ultimately chose OU because she loved the campus and the team.

Naqvi chose OU over Bowling Green State University. She said she chose to play at Oakland because of the great facilities, academics and location.

Zack said she fell in love with OU over the other universities she considered.

“I was recruited by four or five other schools, but I really fell in love with Oakland,” Zack said. “I’m super excited to move a little out of my comfort zone.”

All three are looking forward to playing with a new team and competing in a college environment.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting all of my new teammates and becoming friends with all of them,” Sullivan said.

The girls move onto campus in August and will start practicing to prepare for their first tournament in September.

Sidebar, with photos of each girl?

Sullivan, Naqvi and Zack each had someone they wanted to thank for introducing them to golf.

Maddie Zack: “Both of my parents, because without their loving and financial support I wouldn’t be the player I am today.”

Zaafina Naqvi: “I would like to thank my dad for getting me interested in golf and keeping me interested, also for sacrificing so much for me throughout the years to help me reach my goals.”

Kylee Sullivan:  “I would like to thank my parents and neighbor Alex.”