Elsie MacCleery Has Found the Key to Success

The 15-year-old golfer can’t, and won’t, stop winning


Credit: Elsie MacCleery

MacCleery says her biggest supporter is her sister, who plays with her.

Audrey Miracle, Assistant Editor

For sophomore Elsie MacCleery, golf is all about finding the perfect shot. However, she knows that they’re not all going to be perfect. 

 MacCleery has been in the game for a while, first picking up the club at the age five. Her experience shows in her accomplishments; recently, she was named the junior golfer of the year by the Virginia Golfers’ Association (VSGA). Not only that, she has won the individual states two years in a row and was the VSGA’s junior girl’s champion. Her success only came after years of hard work and dedication. Everyday MacCleery puts in the work, making sure to give it her all. “During school, I normally wake up…and do a workout program for golf. And then after school, I go to the golf course and practice. But during the summer, I’ll be there, for about six hours a day just playing and practicing.”

The reason for her dedication? Simple. Her love for the game. Golf has become an important part of Elsie’s life and her future. MacCleery plans to pursue collegiate-level and hopefully professional golf after graduating. These goals first began at the end of elementary school as MacCleery became more invested in the sport. “I realized that I really wanted to pursue this and that I really loved it. And so then I started, practicing more and getting more involved…and I wanted to continue on the journey of becoming better.” 

Kandi Comer, coach and Western golf alumna, remarked that MacCleery is one of her most dedicated students. “She is one of the hardest working golfers I have ever taught in, that she works on her fitness level and golf game.” Comer continued on that MacCleery’s healthy sports mentality has helped her become successful. “She processes the round and decides what she needs to work on and what she could have done better and then moves on…she does a great job of not focusing on the bad and what she needs to do to get better.”

MacCleery said that keeping a healthy mindset is key to improving but so is losing. “Playing in tournaments, you’re not gonna win 90% of the time. And so every time you lose, every time you come close to winning, it’s always motivating because you always want to do better and you know you can do better.”

That said, MacCleery plans on maintaining her ongoing winning streak. One of her goals before graduating is to win the state tournament. While it is still technically called Boys’ States, McCleery says she could, and really wants to, get invited. “I never compete against other guys, but I think it’s such a power move to win the whole state.” 

Although no one can predict the future, Coach Comer has a feeling that MacCleery is going to go far. “She has big goals and she is not afraid to put in the time to reach those goals. She loves the game as much today as she did when she started at five.”