The emphasis on faith drew Tangquist to the University of Northwestern - St. Paul.
Elise Tangquist - Freshman golfer at University of Northwestern - St. Paul
CHS Class of 2017
Major – Communication Arts and Literature Education
Career Hopes – Educator
Other CHS Sports - Volleyball, Tennis, Track/Field and Basketball
How did you decide to play golf collegiately?
My dad was the golf coach at the university in Crookston for about 20 years. So our whole family has really been involved in golf. We’ve always had a membership at the course and it’s always been a part of my life. I guess I was a little nervous to play competitive golf. I’m so glad that I joined in 10th grade because I ended up having great times and now I get to play in college. I decided on Northwestern because it was a faith-based school and their golf program seemed like a really great fit.
What other schools were you considering?
I also looked at UMC and if I went there, I would’ve played golf. I also looked at Southwest Minnesota State and I would’ve played golf there as well. The faith-based aspect was the biggest part. I know people who have gone to Northwestern and they all said it was great. This one just felt like a goof fit.
What was your biggest accomplishment in high school sports?
On the tennis team in 10th grade, I got to play in the state championship. That was definitely my biggest accomplishment.
What is your biggest accomplishment in collegiate sports?
When I came to school and started golfing, the ranges had changed a lot from the ones in high school. The courses become a lot longer. One of my main goals in college was to be able to have my average be under 100. My average was under 100 so I think that was one of my best accomplishments so far.
Who was your favorite coach in high school?
What is something Coach Geffre did or said that has stuck with you?
The fact that you can always work hard and the fight is never over. Even though you may feel like you’re doing bad, you can still have that positive attitude to improve.
What did you notice as a big difference between playing in high school and playing in college?
In high school we played from the red tees and in college we play from the white tees. It makes it a lot harder to hit greens in regulation.
What surprised you at your first college practice?
We have practice at 6 a.m. It was really cold and it was foggy. We could barely see the green and we played 54 holes that day. We’d be out there practicing for four hours sometimes.
How do you handle the pressure of playing collegiately?
There is more stress which makes it higher stakes. Everybody is trying to win the conference so they can advance in the spring. There is a big reward for playing well. It can get extremely frustrating and one of the ways to combat it is to not overreact. Once you hit a bad shot, it’s got to be behind you otherwise you’re not going to be able to focus on the rest of your game. I keep a notebook of the clubs I used, try to walk slowly and think about what I’m going to try to do. I try to focus on what’s ahead of me.
What is your daily routine while in season?
I start classes around 8 a.m. and then I’ll have class to 1 or 1:30 p.m. Practice is at 2:30 p.m. or 3 p.m. Practice goes to about 5:30 p.m. and then after that I’d go get some dinner. After that, I’d work on homework and try to get to bed as early as I can.
What is your trick to keep up with classwork and stay consistent in your game?
I make sure I have my day planned out. I make sure I have time to do homework and stuff like that. I definitely had to figure out how to manage my time really fast.
Does playing a sport help you manage your time?
I think it helped me my first semester. I knew when I had to do my homework because otherwise, I wouldn’t have had time to do it or I would have had to do it badly.
How has playing collegiately helped you prepare for life after school and sports?
It’s given me a little more tenacious feeling. It can get pretty frustrating when you play bad. Sometimes, it will just not feel fun. Sometimes, that’s how life goes too. I can’t say I’m perfect at it, but it definitely has helped to make me realize that it gets tough out there sometimes.
What do you miss about playing for Crookston?
The girls that I played with in High School golf will always have a special place in my heart. We shared some of the best laughs and memories and I will never forget them. The best days were spending the evenings playing golf until sunset at the Kwa (Minakwa Golf Course) and doing goofy stuff in the golf van. I will also miss the community of support around Crookston Golf and also Crookston athletics. It was always great to see the people that would follow and support my team throughout the season. I am so thankful for the strong community that I came from!
How do you plan to stay around the game after college?
I plan to play with my family as much as possible. The Ryder Cup is coming back to Minnesota soon and I think it’d be fun to work that. Golf is just a social sport and it can be fun to play with others.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about playing a sport in college?
I would say do it 100 percent. It’s so fun because right away, you get to connect with people. It’s just so enriching. I’ve enjoyed it a lot.
Will you be mentally ready when you reach the end of your career?
I feel like I will be mentally ready for my career when I graduate college to an even greater extent because of the opportunity that I have had to play collegiate golf. Golf is one of the hardest sports mentally, and playing it produces fortitude, mental toughness, grit, and the ability to overcome adversity.