PARKERSBURG - Club length made the difference for Abby Roberts.
Following her sophomore year at Parkersburg Catholic High School, Roberts learned that the golf clubs she owned were 1 1/2 inches too short. What followed was an immediate improvement in her game.
Two years later, her scores have made an impression with the University of Charleston women's golf program and recently she signed a national letter of intent to join the team in the fall.
Photo by Kerry Patrick
Parkersburg Catholic golfer Abby Roberts will take her golf game the University of Charleston. Roberts recently signed a national letter of intent to play for the Golden Eagles.
"There were actually a couple of turning points after that sophomore year," Roberts said. "I started to take the game more seriously and became a member at Parkersburg Country Club, Playing on that course has helped my game a lot and I can find all the resources I need.
"That summer, I went to The Resort at Glade Springs and worked under Jim Jamison. I found out the golf clubs I was using were 1 1/2 inches too short. My scores dropped into the 80s."
Roberts took her first golf swing at the age of 4 when her grandparents took her on trips to Minibel Golf Course. By eighth grade, she was a full-fledged member of the Parkersburg Catholic Middle School team.
Even though she played four years at the varsity level for the Crusaders, she never qualified for state. Although, she was on the verge during her senior season. With three holes remaining at the regional meet, Roberts sensed that her score was on the bubble of securing a state berth. A pair of double-bogeys on those closing holes ruined her quest.
"I was very sad after that last hole," Roberts said. "Williamstown coach Russ Schramm was watching our group and he has known me since I was a freshman. He gave me a big hug and said, 'I've seen you progress so much since your freshman year.'"
As far as major influences playing a role in Roberts' golf game, former Parkersburg Catholic golf coach Bill Pugh has been an important presence.
"Bill Pugh has helped me along all the way," Roberts said. "I had the shanks last year and he helped me."
Roberts also is a cheerleader at Parkersburg Catholic, and one of her best friends on the squad clued her in about the University of Charleston. Roberts visited the campus earlier this winter and accepted the offer last week.
"The coach at the University of Charleston liked my scores," Roberts said. "I definitely have to play more this summer because I know the competition isn't going to be easy."
Roberts, who plans to major in elementary education, is confident about her putting game but knows she still has improvements to make off the tee box.
"My putts save me a lot," Roberts said. "I don't have the perfect putter, but I know if I'm on the green I have a good feeling the ball will go in the cup.
"As far as my aim and lining up my shots in the fairway and on the tee, I seem to always be right of where I should be."