Harley Dubsky plays golf in pursuit of what she calls the “it shot.”
“The ‘it shot’ is different for every golfer,” she said. “Golf can put you down so many times. There are so many frustrating things, so many unlucky things that can happen in golf that are out of your control. But then there’s that one ‘it shot’ that you might get once a round or once a week, and it’s when everything comes together. It’s a feeling that you get, and every time you get it you forget about every other bad shot that you had before. That’s my favorite thing about golf – everything can be going wrong in every way possible, but that one ‘it shot’ can happen and it changes the whole round.”
Dubsky is the No. 1 golfer on the Valparaiso girls golf team, but her golfing experiences reach far beyond her role on her high school team. In addition to her third place finish at state last year, the Valpo senior qualified and competed in the 2013 Women’s Amateur Public Links in Oklahoma. She has finished in the top 10 at state each year of her high school career so far, and has also been nationally ranked as high as 18th in the class of 2014 by Golfweek.
“Her biggest attribute is her length off the tee,” Valpo coach William Miller said. “Obviously, that’s a major advantage in the girls game. Her length, by far, is the farthest I’ve ever seen of any women’s or girl’s golfer I’ve ever been around in my eight years. It definitely sets her up to play shorter clubs. Her length gives her a lot of birdie opportunities throughout the round.”
Throughout high school, Dubsky has studied and competed at Valpo during the fall semesters and spent her spring semesters at the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy in Florida, where she continues to train during the off-season.
“Her stats have not lied,” Miller said. “Her overall game just keeps improving and she’s a hard worker during the off-season, playing many tournaments and practicing. I think she knows that a few shots here and there around the short game is going to be very important this year for her.”
Dubsky hopes to improve mentally as an athlete this season and lead her team towards success. She notes that her job as a leader on the team isn’t difficult because she believes her team “shares the same vision and goals.”
“I want to be mentally better than what I was last year,” Dubsky said. “Golf is 90 percent mental. If you watch the girls on the Amateur tour and college level, they all have a good swing, that’s not what’s doing it. It’s the mental part that can hold you back. I’m building my confidence slowly, now I feel that I’m in a good place, and I know my game and I’m starting to trust it.”
The University of Nevada Las Vegas offered Dubsky a full-ride golf scholarship, and she will attend the school next fall. Dubsky’s goals for her collegiate career include qualifying for every tournament next year. She will pursue a degree in culinary science.
“The coach at UNLV was really nice and really had a vision for her team,” Dubsky said. “They were the lowest ranked school that I looked at, at 30th or 40th for women’s golf, which isn’t bad at all, but they were moving up. And that’s what I wanted to see - progress. I want to be on a team that was moving forward, not a team that was at a standstill. I want to help a team and be a part of a team’s movement forward.”