FRANKLIN, Ind. – Seventeen-year-old Ellie Beavins is set to be a state title contender this year.
The senior out of Franklin Community High School won the Indiana Golf Junior Championship this summer. Then she kicked off her final high school season with a 76 at the Bloomington South Invite, and a 32 during a 9-hole match at Winding River Golf Course.
The rest of the 2020 Grizzly Cubs are pretty good, too.
“Our top three can average seventy-five or better,” Beavins said. “We’re really competitive this year.”
Beavins grew up playing sports, but was diagnosed with a rare bone disorder when she was 7-years-old that impacts one in a million people. Ellie’s father, Joel, suggested she pick up golf.
“I couldn’t run or jump for almost a year. I was playing basketball. That was out of the question,” she said. “I was like, ‘well, I might as well try golf because we just walk.'”
The Legends Golf Club in Franklin became a special place for Ellie. She recorded her first and only hole-in-one on No. 13. It is also where Joel introduced her to the game, but Ellie was not sure she would like life on the links at first.
“I was like there’s no way I’m going to play golf. I’m not patient at all,” she said. “I got my first round in and I just fell in love with the game.”
As Ellie’s heart grew for golf, she lost one of the biggest loves of her life.
In October, Joel died in a plane crash in Michigan. He was one of the pilots on board.
“The first couple of months after it happened, I wasn’t even thinking about golf. I was like, ‘I can’t get out there without him. It just doesn’t feel right,'” she said. “Once it started getting warmer I was like, ‘I know my dad would want me out on the course.’ So, I just needed to get out there and start practicing. Now I do it for him. I’m not really grieving anymore. I just know this is what he wants me to do.”
Ellie practices five to six hours each day. If she hits a poor shot, Ellie thinks about what her father would say.
“Well that’s okay. Just go to the next shot. And that’s what I tell myself,” she said.
Ellie is committed to play golf at Taylor University.