CANTON  On the course, golfers have to be conscious of their pace of play.

Former Green High School standout and current Malone freshman Lauren Griggy is finding that she has to do the same away from the links if she wants to be a successful college student-athlete.

Griggy, winding down a successful freshman campaign for the Pioneers, admitted that the most challenging part of the college experience so far has been figuring out her schedule in order to be sure she accomplishes all she needs to do in a given day.

"It’s really been challenging to get a good handle on managing my time," Griggy said. "Time management is something I didn’t do a great job at in high school so I’m learning to do that now."

College student-athletes have demands on their time both in season and out of season and for golf, which has both a fall and spring portion to its season, there is plenty to do year round. Along with more practice and travel time for tournaments, golfers have to make sure that they are tackling their coursework in between rounds.

Upon arriving at Malone, Griggy quickly saw that it was going to be an entirely different challenge than the one she encountered in high school.

"It was both (a challenge athletically and academically) and a lot of it was making sure I set aside time to finish homework before practice," Griggy said. "I also learned that I need to communicate with my professors if I’m going to miss class being away at a tournament."

One nice aspect of getting acclimated to college both in golf and in the classroom has been the presence of one of Griggy’s former Green teammates, fellow freshman Michelle Lori, on the Malone roster. The duo spent plenty of time together on the links during their time playing for the Bulldogs and although the setting has changed this year and the level of competition has risen significantly, the duo continues to tackle the challenges together.

"It’s been good to have someone who came from where I’m from who’s going through same thing," Griggy said. "She’s also an education major, so sometimes we do our homework together."

Griggy plans to focus on middle childhood education and teach math or science once she earns her degree, a goal she’s balancing with trying to succeed as an athlete as well

On the course Griggy knew she had one distinct challenge to overcome in order to succeed at the college level: distance.

"I expected the distance to be a lot longer and as a golfer struggle with my distance and try to make up for that with my short game," Griggy said.

Much of her work in her freshman campaign has been on her swing plane and club path to the ball, as she got a bit off in that area of her game early on and has been working to get back on track. Those efforts paid off at the recent Ursuline Invitational, a three-team tournament at which Malone placed second. Griggy and former Lake standout Melanie Smith tied for second place individually with 18-hole scores of 82 to pace the Pioneers.

At the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Championships last weekend at Four Bridges Country Club in Liberty Township, Ohio, Griggy posted an 87 on the second day of the tournament as the Pioneers rebounded from a slow start to place fifth with a two-day score of 686.

It was a solid finish to the final event of a freshman season that was full of learning and adjustments for Griggy, setting the stage for what she hopes will be a winning career with her clubs and in the classroom.

Reach Andy at 330-580-8936
Or andy.harris@thesuburbanite.com
On Twitter: @aharrisBURB