Trinity golfer strives to improve

Demi Oakes is always up for a challenge on the golf course.

Oakes began her golf career at Immanuel Lutheran School and has steadily moved up the lineup at Trinity and has batted back and forth with teammate Macy Taylor for the No. 1 position this fall.

The senior has noticed a higher level of competition as she has moved up to the top of the lineup, and she said the competition brings out the best in her.

“Sometimes, if a team has just started their program, their No. 1 won’t be very good, but if they have been playing for a while, then I try to play like them, and that lowers my score,” Oakes said. “You play against yourself. You have to keep an open mind. Just ignore everything around you and focus on you and the ball or you and the club. Don’t worry about what the other people think.”

Oakes said she watches her opponents hit their shots, especially if they tee off ahead of her on a windy day, or if she has the same approach shot to a green or the same read for a putt.

Her favorite holes at Shadowood Golf Course are No. 10 and No. 18.

“I like 10 because it’s short and straight,” Oakes said. “I like 18 because it’s the last hole. It’s mostly straight. I’m not a fan of No. 2. Sometimes I’ll like the front nine, but most of the time I like the back nine.”

Her lowest nine-hole score is a 45, shot at Hoosier Links at Milan in a match against Jac-Cen-Del and Milan.

Oakes said she thinks the strongest part of her game is her driving.

“I can hit it a long way,” Oakes said. “I can get it out there about 160 or 170 (yards). My irons have improved a lot, and my putting has improved.”

Oakes was Trinity’s most improved golfer in 2014 and earned MVP honors last fall.

She said practice is important.

“If you come out here and practice every day, even if it’s for 30 minutes, you’re going to improve how you play in a match,” Oakes said. “Whether it’s with your irons, your driver, your wedges or your putter. Practice makes perfect.”

Having confidence also makes a big difference with golf, according to Oakes.

“You have to have a lot of confidence,” Oakes said. “If you have a bad hole, you’ve just got to forget about it and go to the next hole.”

At a glance

Name: Demi Oakes

School: Trinity Lutheran

Parents: Denny Oakes, Cindy Oakes

Sports: Golf, four years

Athletic honors: Most improved 2014, most valuable 2015

Organizations: Trinity Car Club, Trinity art club

Plans after high school: Attend IUPUC, study engineering

Favorite food: Steak

Favorite TV show: “Supernatural”

Favorite band: Aerosmith

Favorite movie: “Captain America: Civil War”

Favorite athlete: Indianapolis Colts

Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.