NEW ULM — From an initial lack of interest in golf to becoming one of the area’s most accomplished high school golfers, Kayla Goblirsch has had herself quite a career at New Ulm Cathedral High School.
Goblirsch finished her senior year with her fifth trip to the Class A State Golf Tournament at Pebble Creek Golf Club in Becker last week. She finished her 2021 trip with an eighth-place finish and her first-ever state medal but had a tougher time at state this year and finished 20th.
And even still, finishing 20th at the state tournament is something many prep golfers in Minnesota can only dream of doing.
Goblirsch also finished the year as the All-Journal Girls’ Golfer of the Year for the third time. Goblirsch won it in 2019 and last year. There was no season in 2020 due to COVID, so Goblirsch could very well have ended her career with six trips to state and four All-Journal Player of the Year awards.
Goblirsch joins Sleepy Eye’s Lauren Laffen as the only three-time All-Journal Girls’ Golfer of the Year.
She was also the Tomahawk Conference champion, Tomahawk Conference Player of the Year and the Section 2A champion this year. She had a nine-hole average of 40.
Goblirsch didn’t always have a love for the game, though, preferring to focus on gymnastics over any other sport. But after getting on the course with her grandpa and finding her swing, she quickly developed a drive, no pun intended, to keep playing and improve.
“My grandpa and a few other of my family members got me interested in golf around fifth grade,” Goblirsch said. “And at first I did not want to play, they had to convince me to go out there. And we would go out there once a week and practice. Once I started competing for seventh grade, that’s when I really started getting more dedicated and I would go out almost every day in the summer.
“At first when I started, golf didn’t really come that naturally to me, I was more into gymnastics. I never had the most natural swing, but that definitely pushed me to work harder.”
Goblirsch’s competitive career in golf came to a close on that final day of the 2022 state tourney. She won’t be playing golf in college and plans to attend Minnesota State University, Mankato in the fall to focus on her schooling.
“When I was younger, I thought that I would probably do college golf,” Goblirsch said. “But then as I got older I kind of realized that I wanted to be done with competitive golf and not have any pressure of sports anymore. But I’m just glad that golf is a lifelong sport, so I’ll be able to do it for fun for the rest of my life.”
There isn’t any one tournament or meet that stands out to Goblirsch from her career. Instead, she reflects on the hours spent practicing that went into getting her top scores and awards.
“Just thinking back to all the summers that I’ve spent every day out on the golf course practicing and then in a meet when it would finally pay off and I’d shoot my best shot ever or get my first eagle or get a birdie or something like that,” she said. “Just knowing that all my hard work finally paid off.”
Goblirsch had four different head coaches over her varsity career of golf at Cathedral in Kayla Berg, Caleb Christensen, Jonah Cooper and most recently Cole Owens.
“All the coaches have been wonderful,” Goblirsch said. “I have met so many great people throughout my golf career who have been so supportive and have helped me become a better person and better golfer.”