Harley Dubsky admits to feeling some pressure as one of the most talented golfers entering Friday's state meet at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin, but the Valparaiso sophomore is trying to take it in stride.
Now with a year of experience at the state meet under her belt, Dubsky is feeling more confident going against the best competition the state has to offer. Her first round score of 73 last year also proves she can shoot low at The Legends.
"It definitely gives me confidence knowing I can shoot well at that course, especially with tough weather," she said. "It's one shot at a time -- one hole. That's just kind of the way it is."
Part of that reason for increased confidence is a better mental focus on the golf course. Dubsky's score of 77 at the LaPorte Regional was a result of simply not letting bad shots get to her. Her 85 at the same meet in 2010 is a different story.
Over the summer, Dubsky attended the Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., where she received some important mental training at least once per week.
"I knew that was a big part, but up here there's not a lot of places to go and get mental training," she said. "It's definitely helped. The mental game is definitely tricky and that's really 90 percent of golf."
The Vikings are returning to the state meet as a team, finishing third at the regional. Valparaiso coach Bill Miller has recognized Dubsky's growth and knows that improvement has meant wonders to his team this season. Dubsky started the LaPorte Regional 4-over-par after three holes, but went 1-under on the final 15.
"At any time, she can birdie any hole," Miller said. "She has the capability of hitting any shot, even a tough hole. In the regional, it showed how her game has changed. For a sophomore, that's probably the difference between last year and this year."
Though it's every golfer's dream to capture a state championship, Dubsky is simply looking to enjoy herself on Friday and see what happens. Along the way, she'll help guide her teammates with the experience she has already gained.
"We have three freshmen on our team, so I'm trying to help," Dubsky said. "A lot of times I get kind of swept up. You play, you finish and a lot of times you're like 'I can't even remember what the course looked like.' You're just so focused on the shot and you're almost not enjoying where you are. That's probably the main (goal) for me: -- just to stay in the moment and enjoy it."