Sami Spencer’s nickname is “Slammin Sami” and it only takes one afternoon at the driving range to see how she got the moniker.
Spencer, a senior at Carolina Forest High School, is the leader of the Lady Panthers golf team. She’s had multiple college scholarship offers, but her focus now is dominating the course during her senior year.
Carolina Forest golf coach Russ Brown said Spencer is a rare talent.
“There is no question she is our team leader, and with that responsibility she has been able to help mold some of our younger players, help them find their groove on the course,” he said. “She has matured a lot over the past year. She won’t mind me saying that in years past her biggest problem on the golf course has always between her ears. She would never give herself a break, but she’s learned that you’ve got to take each hole, each stroke as a new beginning.”
Spencer concurred with her coach.
“My golf game has improved, but I’d agree with coach, I’m not as emotional with each drive or putt,” she said. “It has taken me a while to get to this point, and I still have off days, but golf is unlike other sports. You can’t allow your emotions to push you or you are going to mess up your whole game.”
Spencer has also been trying to get stronger physically.
“I’m on the golf course or the driving range every day,” she said. “I want to have that arm strength that I can hit the ball as far as I need to. This offseason, I’ve just worked on driving the ball further and my putt game, because anyone that plays golf can always improve their putting.”
Brown commended his star for not only improving her game, but helping her teammates grow as well.
“Golf is the most mentally challenging sport in the world besides tennis,” he said. “If a golf player can just learn the game and practice it, not just with their body but their mind, they are going to do great things. Sami is the perfect example. She knows golf backwards and forwards and she has been able to manage her emotions, keep emotion away from each hole and just focus on the ball, the club and the green. It is a hard thing to do because golf is a mentally draining game, but Sami has been able to not only learn this herself, but has been teaching the others on the team, too.”
Spencer has verbally committed to Fairmont State University in West Virginia, but that doesn’t mean she is overlooking her final season as a Panther. Her team is 2-0 after beating Myrtle Beach and Conway to start the season.
“Honestly, this season I want to see us take home state,” she said. “That’s been my goal my entire golf career in high school, and I think we have the talent and drive to get us there this season. I think right now we are within the top five or six teams in the state, but I think by the end of this season we could be on top. People don’t realize how much of a team sport golf is, but because of the people I have surrounding me in my teammates, I think we could go all the way this season.”