Jordyn Linnstaedter is a forward-thinking young woman.
Such a characteristic serves her well on the golf course. Why look back? The Lorena junior knows better. It serves no purpose to fret over the bad bounce that happened a few minutes ago — it’s all about what lies ahead.
“I like that (golf) can be a team game, but everybody is also on their own,” Linnstaedter said. “And I also like that you can have a terrible hole, but you’re able to regroup and set up on the next hole and have a great hole. Just the constant change — it’s not what you could’ve done, it’s what’s next. You can’t change anything — it’s just, what’s the next shot, what do I have to do on the next shot, the next putt?”
At the Region III-4A Tournament in late April, Linnstaedter certainly didn’t let the occasional wayward swing or funny hop ruin her fun. Case in point: In the first round at Raven Nest Golf Club in Huntsville, Linnstaedter followed up a bogey at the par-5 14th hole with a double bogey at No. 15. Yet rather than spiral out of control and let her round get away from her, she zeroed in and finished strong.
Linnstaedter birded the par-4 16th, then closed out with consecutive pars on her way to a first-round, field-leading score of 82. The next day, she showed similar resiliency. She was clicking along with five straight pars on the front nine when she let one get away on No. 7 for a bogey. Again, Linnstaedter buckled down, picking up on par on No. 8 before carding consecutive birdies.
She finished with an 8-over 80, the best round of any golfer in the field for the second straight day. As regional champion, she automatically advanced to the UIL Class 4A State Golf Tournament, which will be held Monday and Tuesday at Plum Creek Golf Course in Kyle, just south of Austin.
“My stroke wasn’t looking too good on the practice round, but then the first round came around and I had a good couple of holes to start,” Linnstaedter said of her regional tournament performance. “I think it was all kind of coming together. The second day, I think it was my ninth hole, one day I had a really bad hole, so I had to regroup. That was a really cool thing, I got to just come together.”
It was her father and grandfather who first introduced Linnstaedter to the game when she was a young girl. Her grandfather lives in the China Spring area by Lake Waco Golf Club, and the family played many a round on that course.
But it was mostly just a pleasant diversion until junior high, when she realized that she could ride the dimples of those golf balls to pretty exciting places.
“I really didn’t get serious about it until seventh grade, when I had my first lesson with Danny Garvin. I just fell in love with the game, and it just felt right,” she said.
Linnstaedter continued to progress in her game over the years, and has benefited from some savvy coaching, too. One reason she’s able to display such resolve in rough patches is the calming influence she gets from Lorena golf coach Ken Thompson.
“Coach Thompson is always there at the right moment,” she said. “After that bad hole at regionals, he was just there and said, ‘This is where it matters. You’ve got to put that behind, and keep moving on.’ He’s just always a big supporter. He just tells me, hey, you need to stop thinking negatively, and that also helps a lot. Him just being out there is a big help.”
Linnstaedter has never played Plum Creek before, but her dad and Thompson have researched the course extensively and offered some tips. She’s also talked to Lorena golfer Corbin Conradt, who has played the course in the past and will be there next week as a qualifier for the 4A boys’ state tournament.
Linnstaedter just wants to do her best, and let the tees fall where they may.
“I’m going down there with the mindset of, I’m going to go down there and play my game,” she said. “I don’t see golf as playing other people, I see it as playing a course. That really helps, so I just hope for some good rounds down there.”