Harrison senior Blair Bruce never picked up a golf club until her sophomore year of high school when her good friend and teammate Shelby Blalock talked her into joining the team.
The Lady Hoyas have grown from a young squad over the last couple of seasons into an experienced one, but they were still talented enough to maintain a streak of 22 consecutive seasons of qualifying for the state tournament.
Uncertain that Harrison would be able to field a full roster in 2018, Blalock persuaded Bruce into playing.
With the exception of her father, Terry Bruce, giving her a few lessons wen she was younger, she was never associated with golf. That meant she had lots of catching up to do.
Her tee shots and iron play developed quickly, but it took awhile for her short game and her putting to catch up.
“I think it was reading the putt and knowing which direction to it,” Bruce said. When you are on a slope of you’re hitting it downhill or uphill, you don’t know how light or hard to hit it.”
Bruce remembered being nervous her first high school match with the weather being cold, windy and rainy. She said she was outmatched by the girls she paired up with, but managed to get through it.
“It was one of those things where Shelby was the only one who knew how to play, so they just threw us right into it,” Bruce said. “The girls we were paired up with were a lot better than us.”
Both Bruce and her Harrison teammates have come a long way since.
As she continued to practice daily and take lessons at Brookstone, her scores dropped quickly.
In less that three full years of playing, Bruce consistently breaks 100 for 18 holes.
Harrison was just getting its season started when it was announced that the season was postponed due to the effects of the coronavirus. Harrison was just finishing up practice when she first got the news.
The Lady Hoyas were scheduled to play the county tournament the following week as well as take an overnight trip to Chateau Elan.
“We got a thing that school was going to be out two weeks and we were bummed,” Bruce said. “Coach texted us two weeks later and said we were all done. It was upsetting.”
Although Harrison couldn’t have official team practices, that didn’t keep Bruce away from the golf course during the pandemic.
Bruce will attend Alabama in the fall where she plans to major in aerospace engineering. She has no plans to play competitive golf at Tuscaloosa but she still plans on playing in her spare time.