Sometimes — even in the middle of a global pandemic — things just have a rare way of working out.
Such was the case for Central Lafourche graduated senior golfer Sarah Hodson.
Hodson knew she wanted to play college golf, but with a shortened senior season, the pandemic and then a prolonged dark period in collegiate recruiting, her future home was far from certain.
But after months of waiting, practicing and praying, it all worked out.
Hodson signed a scholarship with Mississippi College this week — an upstart program that will be having its first-ever season in the 2020-2021 academic year.
For Hodson, having a future home that fits both her athletic and academic desires is a blessing and one that she said she’s grateful for and will cherish for a lifetime.
“It feels great to know that I will be able to continue playing the sport I love at the next level,” she said. “I didn’t start playing until my freshman year and I worked really hard to get to where I am now.”
It’s not common for a golfer to reach the collegiate level with such a late start to her playing career.
But Hodson said she paved her way through determination, grit and a lot of love and support from her dad.
Hodson said she wanted to thank her father, David, who has been her coach from the beginning of her career
“He has taught me everything I know along with a few lessons I’ve taken with swing coaches,” Sarah said. “He’s the reason I took up golf in the first place and I just want to thank him.”
Hodson said she’s always has some natural talent in the game, but she’s had to endure some adversity to get to the point of signing a scholarship.
She said she’s changed her swing multiple times in her four-year career — a challenge that often halts progress in a golfer’s game.
But for Hodson, the fine-tuning has made for a more complete, well-rounded player.
Her best career score is a 1-under 72 at LaTour — a card she posted this summer in late-June.
“I would say my strength as a golfer is my ability to overcome adversity,” she said.
Hodson’s perseverance was on full display this summer.
After the cancellation of her season, she was stuck without a home and no means to find a school interested in her services. The NCAA locked down recruiting for a lot of the spring and early summer, which made finding a college difficult.
In mid-May, Hodson said she contacted Mississippi College women’s golf coach Brent Belton after hearing that they were starting a team.
Belton reached back out, and the interest was mutual.
Hodson said she loved that the school fit her academic interests, as well as her love for athletics. She is majoring in Biology with a concentration in Pre-Dentistry.
“And it just went from there,” Hodson said. “My final decision on school came down to academics because Mississippi College has one of the best Biology programs, I knew it was the best school for me.”
So now, Hodson said she’s focused on finishing her summer with a bang before reporting to school.
She said she’s working hard on her game daily, doing everything she can to improve in all facets.
Because Mississippi College will be in its first year of competition, all of the incoming players will be on even footing, so Hodson said she wants to do as much work as she can to try and get a leg up in helping her team compete.
“I’m working on a different grip to get more distance,” she said. “I’m practicing and playing every day to try to get my ball flight better and to hit the ball further.”