With second-hand clubs, Emily St. Aubin, an 8th grader at Ashley Public School, competed at the National Drive, Chip, and Putt competition in early April ahead of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia. St. Aubin finished 10th place overall. Her parents, Jeremy and Lisa and 12-year-old brother Zachary were there to cheer her on. Jeremy is Emily’s coach and Emily is the defending state medalist in North Dakota Class B girls’ golf and her team—the South Border Mustangs—are the defending state champions.
The road that led St. Aubin to Augusta started with 100 rounds of golf in an infant seat, riding along with her parents before she was a year old. In the summer months she golfs daily with the “1 p.m. golfers” in Ashley. The 1 p.m. golfers are mostly older men, a few women, and St. Aubin, who hopes to recruit younger golfers to join them.
“They teach me to be a better person and to golf for fun,” St. Aubin says.
In Augusta, St. Aubin met golfing greats Nancy Lopez, Annika Sörenstam, and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. While St. Aubin raises the bar for the game of golf in North Dakota, she does not dream of a professional golf career. She can see herself golfing in college possibly, but hopes for a career in sports broadcasting.
Wherever life leads her St. Aubin is loyal to her community and her home course.
“My best friends are here. I golf here to golf with the elders,” St. Aubin says.
With her recent success, she isn’t interested in new golf clubs either.
“They’re my lucky clubs now,” St. Aubin says with a sincere smile.
Katie Pinke resides in Wishek, N.D. where she is a fan of the South Border Mustangs and mom to kids who want to golf like Emily St. Aubin. Pinke is the publisher/ general manager of Agweek, a weekly columnist, event speaker and co-owner of Pinke Homes with her husband, Nathan. Connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.