CBU’s own golf pro: Kirsten Keyser

Mike Sampson--Kirsten Keyser returns to CBU after golfing at Pebble Beach.

Pebble Beach, Calif. sounds like a pleasant place to go for vacation, but it strikes fear in the hearts of many aspiring golfers.

Despite this courses infamous reputation, California Baptist University freshman golfer Kirsten Keyser played the course with ease; finishing in 12th place overall in the PGA Champions Tour Home Care & Hospice First Tee tournament.

On the weekend of Sept. 3, while CBU students were recovering from their first week of school, Keyser was hitting the golf course with pro golfer Mark Calcavecchia in the PGA Champions Tour tournament. This tournament paired 78 selected junior players with PGA pro’s over the age of 50.

“It was the experience of a lifetime that I will never forget,” Keyser said about encounter with Calcavecchia. Playing with such a great golfer is an opportunity within itself, but for Keyser the best part was seeing that Calcavecchia was just a normal guy.

To be chosen for this tour Keyser went through a very long application process, which included many essays and an interview with the board of The First Tee. Although the application process was long, Keyser thought it was well worth it.

The First Tee is a program for youth golfers to help not only develop their golf skills, but to also strengthen their character as well.

Keyser got involved with The First Tee because of her Dad who got her started in golf when she was only 10 years old. When the Keyser family moved from Iowa to California, golf became an activity the family could do together year-round.

Not only is Keyser a force on the golf course, but she is also one of the few women that are part of the engineering program at CBU.

According to Anthony Donaldson, dean of the school of engineering, the majority of people who make the Fortune 500 were those who studied engineering.

Keyser wants to use her degree to go into Orthodontics, but leaving golf behind her completely would be a challenge. Working as a teaching pro is another career path that she would like to take. Either way, it looks like Keyser has many successes heading her way.

At CBU the women’s golf team is made of just eight golfers. The girls have been spending a lot of time at the driving range and attending qualifying tournaments.

The team returned from Flagstaff, Ariz. on Sept. 21 after playing in the Mountain Shootout at Forrest Highlands Golf Course.

The team finished fourth, merely three strokes behind the hosting team, Northern Arizona University.

The team showed their true depth and skill, as not one individual lead the tournament for consecutive days.

Keyser lead the first day with 78 and day two was lead by Samantha Katz with her career low of 74. The team takes off again to Ariz. on Sept. 27 for the Grand Canyon Fall Invitational.