Nina Goodrich was just seven years old when her dad Byron Goodrich introduced her to golf and the First Tee Golf Program.
Not too keen on the sport to start, Goodrich gradually realized that she had a passion for it.
Now in her ninth year with the St. Louis Chapter of the First Tee Golf Program, Goodrich is one of nine members from throughout the nation who will have the opportunity to play a few holes with LPGA legend Annika Sorenstam at Broadmoor Country Club in Colorado Springs.
“I really don’t know that much about her. I just know that she is a world famous champion golfer and one of the great players of all time,’’ Goodrich said. “I am really excited. It’s in August and it will be during the first week of school, but it will be alright. It’s a life experience that I’m really looking forward to.’’
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Sponsored by CoBank, the CoBank PEAK Performers Contest was open to all First Tee Program members, ages 14-18, throughout the nation. Applicants are leaders in their chapters.
All male applicants must have a USGA handicap of 12 or better while females needed a handicap of 15 or better.
A 16-year-old junior at Belleville West, Goodrich was the No. 2 player on the Maroons golf team a year ago. But she has been a member of the St. Louis First Tee Golf Program for the past nine years and has gradually moved up in levels.
Goodrich is currently an Eagle Level First Tee Golf Program participant.
“The head of the St. Louis chapter gave me a list of things I could apply for and I picked the CoBank PEAK Performers contest,” she said. “You had to submit your personal information and you had to write a couple of essays on how you got involved and what your favorite value of the nine core values of the First Tee is.’’
Goodrich also had to submit a golf resume along with a recommendation of one of her teachers.
Goodrich said more than 200 First Tee Golf Program members from throughout the nation applied for the CoBank PEAK Performers Contest. The nine winners received a trip to Colorado Springs, Aug. 21-24 and will stay at the Broadmoor Resort for three days and nights.
As part of their trip, the nine players will get a round of golf at Broadmoor Country Club, site of the 2018 United States Senior Open and the golf outing with Sorenstam.
Broadmoor Country Club is also a special place for Sorenstam who won her first LPGA title and the first of her 10 LPGA major championships at the 1995 United States Women’s Open. A member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, Sorenstam has won 93 tournaments throughout her career.
“I think we’ll all get to play 18 holes and I think we’ll be playing golf in threesomes. I believe each threesome will get the chance to play six holes with Annika,’’ Goodrich said. “Thinking about it, I will be nervous. I mean I’m going to be playing with this amazing champion golfer who has won all of these tournaments all over the world. But I will also be very excited.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun.’’
Goodrich is currently ranked No. 1 academically in her class at Belleville West with a perfect 5.0 GPA while taking all honors classes.
In addition to playing golf, Goodrich is involved in many other school activities, including being a drum majorette in the school marching band.