The dream of playing college golf started to take form for Oak Hill senior Hope Mygrant when she entered her junior high years, which actually wasn’t long after she first started playing.
She was introduced to golf by her parents, Jeff and Faith Mygrant, then first started learning to play as a sixth-grader. She started playing competitive youth golf the next year.
“I used to go out and ride in the golf cart when my mom and my aunt played. Then my parents bought me a set (of clubs),” said Hope before she and her Oak Hill teammates practiced at the Elks Country Club on Thursday.
“My dad took me out and he taught me that patience is a key, even though he doesn’t have it on most days,” she said with a big smile. “It was kind of a competitive thing that him and I could do. I instantly started to love it and realized that I could go somewhere with it.”
Indeed, her golf game has taken her around Indiana for junior tournaments. It took her to the IHSAA state finals to end her sophomore year at Oak Hill.
Now Mygrant’s work on the golf course, driving range and practice greens over the years will allow her to play in college. She recently signed her letter of intent to continue her golf career at Indiana University-Kokomo.
Mygrant said IU-K coach Barry Gulley contacted her in the fall of 2019 and she visited the campus shortly afterward.
“My swing coach (Scott Steger) and (Gulley) know each other and I just though it was a really good program,” Mygrant said. “I think he sees a lot of potential in me so I know that I’m capable of bettering my scores there. I’m excited.”
Mygrant started working with Steger, who coaches former Oak Hill standout Lauren Tibbets, early in her playing days. She credits Steger for planting the idea of playing college golf in her mind.
“He asked if I see this as a future. I said, yeah I see it as a future in high school, so he said what about in college?” Mygrant shared. “It was more of the unknown then. My answer was I want to play in college, but will I be good enough to play in college? We worked on it. Then my freshman or sophomore year I realized this is what I want to do.”
Working at her craft is something Oak Hill coach Steve Nelson said has always been a strength of Mygrant’s. Her importance to the Golden Eagles has only increased because of that work ethic.
“A good thing about Hope is she loves the game. She works at the game,” Nelson said. “I think it’s really helped all the girls on that team. … She’s been a true leader and that’s what we need for this program.
“It’s hard to get enough girls, you see that everywhere,” he continued. “Her leadership has helped so much with getting new players to our team and I hope it continues. The last three years have been fantastic for me. It’s been fun. It’s been great having her and we’ll obviously miss her.”
Though Mygrant has continued to shoot good scores nearly every match, her senior season hasn’t been the easiest as she’s still dealing with a shoulder injury she had last winter. Actually, after having the shoulder surgically repaired in early March, it was re-injured in an auto accident and she had to complete the rehabilitation process all over again in spring.
The bulky shoulder has forced Mygrant to shorten her swing, and she was scheduled for an MRI on Friday and more surgery could be in her future.
She’s determined, however, to deal with the pain as best she can and to finish her senior season by hopefully adding more good memories to what’s already been a great high school career.
“I take things one step at a time. With the pain in my shoulder, I just push through it,” Mygrant said. “I realize I have shoulder problems and don’t get mad at myself for that because things happen.
“I’m thankful I’m out here. I’m thankful I’m playing,” she added. “Even with pain I know I can get through it. It’s a struggle, but I’m happy to be on the struggle bus and playing. I would rather be playing than at home in a sling.”
As for her future plans, Mygrant intends to study nursing and further wants to be a surgical nurse.
“I actually work at a dentist’s office right now and the extracting teeth kind of makes me happy,” she said. “I love watching that. That’s what I want to do.”
The hope for Hope’s more immediate future is simply finishing her senior season on the golf course and having another chance to advance through the high school postseason.
“I want to play back in sectional. I hope our school makes it there and we don’t get cancelled because of COVID. I want to see state again, hopefully,” Mygrant said. “I just want to have fun. I want to have a great rest of my senior year and add more memories.
“It’s crazy to think it’s senior year. Coach said yesterday to another coach, ‘see you next year,’” she added. “It kind of like hit that I won’t see them next year. It was like wow, that hits hard.”