Loss brings golf team closer

When she was 12 years old, her dad asked her all the time, “just come to one lesson.”

“I didn’t want to for the longest time and my dad was like come to one lesson, come to one lesson,” junior Mara Kovac said. “So he got me to go to a lesson and I really enjoyed it.”

From that lesson on, Kovac and her father spent an endless amount of time together on the golf course, between lessons, rounds and going to the range, all the way up until she made the Oakland Universitywomen’s golf team.

“He brought me to every tournament, he signed me up for all the tournaments, he would bring me to weekly lessons, we’d go golfing, we would go to the range,” Kovac said. “He spent a lot of time with me.”

On Sunday, Sept. 4, Kovac’s father unexpectedly passed away due to what doctor’s expected as an embolism in his lung that caused a heart attack.

With her father gone, Kovac turned to her golf team for support.

“It’s one of those things where you’d never expect anything to happen. Just to know that you have the support and that group behind you no matter what, it’s a great feeling,” she said. “If I wasn’t on the golf team I wouldn’t have that support, I’d have a few friends, but it wouldn’t be a huge chunk of people that really showed that they cared.”

Throughout the grieving process, the golf team has been there for Kovac, showing their support in her time of need.

“I think the biggest thing was all the five incoming freshman who have only known her for a couple weeks, along with all the returning players showed up to the funeral, that was pretty good support,” Russ Cunningham, women’s golf coach, said. “Plus, the day that it happened, all the team drove from school over to her house to see her.”

Although golf is the girl’s focus, Cunningham believes life lessons can be taken out of the situation and golf isn’t everything.

“I think it can help show everybody that there is a lot more things more important than golf, it is just a game and there’s other things that are a priority,” he said. “If you’re a good golfer and you put the time in, the game will take care of itself, but more importantly you need to look at just life in general and the opportunities that are there and take advantage of those.”

Although the loss of her father dwells on  Kovac she knows her father is still with her.

“He’s with me no matter what now and he’s not going to let anything bad happen to me,” she said. “My dad got me into the game of golf and was really the one who wanted me to be great at it. It’s one of those things where I’m playing for him now, I’m not playing for myself.”

Kovac and the golf team will play in the Cleveland State Invitational this weekend in Hinckley, Ohio.