BRIGHTON — Like any great athlete, the internal pressure to succeed is a key to Lauren Forcier’s accomplishments in her chosen sport.
But being too hard on herself can also have a detrimental effect on her game.
A change in mindset, one that isn’t quite as stress-inducing, has helped Forcier return to form in recent weeks after a slow start to her senior season of golf at Brighton.
“I’m just trying to have fun, especially this season being my senior year,” Forcier said. “I just think with all these expectations, it’s super important to keep in perspective it’s supposed to be fun. When I’m on the course, I try smiling and try enjoying myself and taking it in. It’s my last year and I’m with my friends. I love my team. That’s definitely been helping me get rid of stress and just have fun.”
Forcier is the reigning Livingston County Golfer of the Year and was the area’s only first-team all-state selection last season.
She was expected to begin posting low scores immediately as a senior, but three of her first four rounds were in the 80s. Forcier did follow a season-opening 82 at Crystal Mountain Resort with a 74 on the same course the following day.
Forcier then shot 80 at Kensington Metropark and 82 at The Fortress in Frankenmuth before going on her current hot streak. She shot 76 to tie for fifth in the Crain Homes Invitational at Oakland Hills Country Club, 74 to place second in the KLAA preseason tournament at Kensington and 77 to tie for second in the Coach Miller Invitational at Lakelands Country Club.
She is one of three co-No. 1 golfers on a Brighton team that is ranked No. 1 in Division 1 and has shot a school-record 300.
“The expectations of us winning state, I want to win states, but I feel there’s more stress I put on myself than coaches or anybody else is putting on me,” Forcier said. “I honestly think I’m a better asset for the team when I’m not as stressed. I don’t have these crazy expectations. I just go play golf. Charlotte Morley, our sophomore, says ‘I just played golf today.’ I feel like that’s what I’m doing; I just play golf.”
And there’s a lot to be said for the simple act of playing golf, particularly when the game was taken away from her for the first part of the year.
She began experiencing back pain after lifting weights her freshman year, but just figured out how to manage her chronic discomfort the past three years. When it was suggested she get an X-ray, it was discovered she had a fracture in her lower spine.
Forcier was unable to work on her game over the winter, finally returning to the course in mid-May.
“That was heartbreaking to me,” she said. “We’re here now. I got over it and got past it. It definitely took a lot of extra hard work and time. Staying positive about it was definitely a good thing.
“It made me realize I’ve got to enjoy it while it lasts. Every time I’m on the golf course, I’m lucky I’m playing. In the spring, I didn’t know what the outcome would be.”
Forcier, who is averaging 77.9 for her first seven 18-hole rounds, is certainly good enough to play at the next level, but is undecided whether she will play college golf.
Contact Bill Khan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on X @BillKhan
This article originally appeared on Livingston Daily: Chill mindset has Brighton’s Lauren Forcier playing better golf