Whether its a beautiful sunny day, a windy day, a cold day, warm day, etc., you will probably find Willamette High School’s Tannica Porter out on a golf course somewhere. Whether she is competing for a state championship, fighting for the Junior PGA Championship, or even in a U.S Girls Junior Amateur tourney, it always seems like Porter is out competing for something too. As the only girl on the Willamette golf team, she is quite literally a one of a kind athlete, but it goes well beyond being the only girl. Last season, Porter became Willamette High School’s first ever state champion golfer, and now she is talking with Elite Oregon Girls about her career so far, her future plans, and advice for the little girl golfers of the world….
The Journey Into Golf
Lets start from the beginning. You are an elite golfer within the state of Oregon, but as we all know, the journey is never as simple as it seems. Talk about your journey…when did you start golfing and how did it become a passion for you?
“I first started loving the game of golf when my dad would take me to the driving range at the age of three and I would watch him hit and after evey shot I would set another ball on the tee as time went on I started recognizing the difference between good and bad shots and I definitely vocalized that to him. From then on I started playing in small par 3 club championships between the ages of 6 and 8 and one day my dad took me to watch an OJGA Sanction tournament at diamond woods golf course and after watching a group of players I knew that golf was something I was interested in.”
Senior Season Goals
You are a 5A state champion, a 6A runner-up, and a 6A third place finisher. You have went from #3 to #2 to #1 in your three years at Willamette. Entering your fourth season, what is there left to accomplish for you? What are you shooting for as far as goals for this season?
“There is always much more left to accomplish on the golf course, I am working towards another state title but this time I want to push myself to see what I can really do this time around. Last year at State I felt like I could have left the course feeling more positive about what I had done for myself and my school so I want to work more on the mental side of golf and be able to walk away from the season feeling positive.”
Heading From Eugene To Northern California
After this season, you are departing Eugene for Chico State University in Northern California. What are you most looking forward to at Chico State? What made you choose that school over the other offers you had?
“I have visited over 20 college campuses. When I first found Chico it was towards the end of my search. I had seen many other schools so I had a good sense of what I wanted out of a school and the area around it. I am very excited that I not only get to advance my golf career at the next level, but the fact that I’ll have such a supportive team to join next fall. I choose Chico State for the beautiful small town feel campus, the great girls I’ll become teammates with, and a coach that isn’t afraid to tell me the truth which is what I value most.”
Favorite Memories On The Course
Being out on the golf course, what have been your favorite memories as a golfer, whether it be in HS, recreation, or something like that?
“My high school golf experience has been very unique. I have played as an individual on my own with no other girls on my team for four years now, and I have been able to compete with the boys at my high school in non league tournaments for three years now. Being on a team with all boys and being the only girl on the team has been the best push I have ever had in high school. They push me to hit it further and although I don’t hit as far at they do I catch them every once in a while. My friends and the boy golf team fill that void of being an only child therefore I have never felt lonely because I know they have my back and they aren’t afraid to tell me to have fun doing what I love.”
Tannica’s Advice For The Little Girl Who Wants To Golf
Finally, what advice would you give to little girls who might share your passion for golfing? What advice would you give them if they want to accomplish what you have once they reach high school?
“I have faced much adversity in playing the sport that I do. My own high school fails to recognize my achievements through golf year after year. I would say to any little girl out there, if you love something fight hard for what you want and don’t let anyone stop you from achieving your goals. I have been very goal driven since I was young and I know my parents were the anchors in my life to instill that drive in my as well. I have never given up on golf or anyone in my life and if things just aren’t going your way at practice maybe stay a little later than everyone else and practice it till you get it right without thinking.”
Tannica will play next season at Chico State University in Chico, CA