Last weekend's American Junior Golf Association Championship wasn't just about putts and drives for Valparaiso junior Harley Dubsky.
"I was holding the flag, taking a deep breath and taking in the scenery," she said. "Before, I would've been engulfed (by the golf). I wouldn't have seen the landscape."
Dubsky finished an impressive 28th among a field which included 50 of the Top 150 junior golfers in the world.
A week before, Dubsky won medalist honors at the Hall of Fame Tournament with a 69. She had the lone under-par round in a field which included defending state medalist Kelly Grassel of Chesterton and several other of the state's top prep golfers.
Dubsky's reasons for her latest successes could have more to do with her mental approach.
"I just remember to go out and have some fun," said Dubsky, who's placed among the Top 10 at the last two IHSAA state golf finals. "Every shot doesn't seem to be bad when you're happy."
It's not that Dubsky is 100-percent pleased with her recent play -- or her game at the AGJA championships -- but the more-relaxed approach alleviates some pressure.
"When I went here two years ago, it was so scary," said Dubsky, who finished last in her previous AJGA Nationals trip. "I can laugh about it now, but I was so embarrassed then.
"I (now) just wanted to play with some girls who are going to some of the top schools. It's not how I compare to them, but what I can do to get to their level."
Dubsky gained perspective from World Golf Hall of Fame member Nancy Lopez, who talked with golfers at the national event.
"She said that you could not be able to walk or not have an arm or leg; be happy to hit a bad shot because you can," Dubsky said. "She said if you have a swing, you have a chance to hit a good shot.
"I've been very fortunate to travel around the world because of something I also love. I think I'm now in a good place."
Even when she's not in the right spot, Valparaiso coach Bill Miller believes Dubsky will find a way through.
"Recently, she put her tee shot in the woods, got up to pin high on the green and putted for par," he said. That could've been pretty dangerous. ... She just avoids the big numbers."
The Pat Ford Invitational is Friday in LaPorte, followed by the Valparaiso Sectional in another week. Dubsky doesn't believe she is peaking, but the AJGA experience might pay off in the postseason.
"It was good to have a week to clear my head, have fun and see what would happen," Dubsky said. "I proved to myself that I can get over the past. I feel like a different player."