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Girls' golf player of the year: Kylee Sullivan, Cheyenne Mountain
Cheyenne Mountain uber-freshman Kylee Sullivan has honed her golf skills at places like Westfield Gold and Sullivan International.
These courses are so exclusive, you won’t find them on any listing of Colorado golf clubs. In fact, the only way to play them is to visit the Sullivans’ home and dig out the course maps drawn by Kylee herself.
These courses exist around the homes of the Sullivans, their next-door neighbors and the empty lot between the two. Once Kylee’s father, Mike, put in a putting green on the lot, golf courses started springing up everywhere. On one hole, you might have to hit it under the tree, on another it might be over the pond. Others were even more challenging.
“We would put a piece of AstroTurf on a boulder and you’d have to hit it off the rock,” Kylee said. “It’s really fun.”
It’s easy to see where all of those great recovery shots come from.
Those who know her aren’t surprised. It’s difficult to separate Kylee from golf since so much of her personality is intermeshed with the game.
“Golf is the sport that fits her because of the premise of golf, like the ethics, the rule-following, the independence,” said Cathi Sullivan, Kylee’s mom. “You can be on a team but still driven by yourself.”
Driven is the operative word. On the course, Kylee is on a mission. She’s cordial, but also hyper-focused.
“I’m able to do it – I don’t know how,” she said. “I just block everything out and focus on the ball and where I want to put it.
“I’ve always been like that. When it comes down to when I need to perform, I can. I’m not sure where it comes from. It’s always kind of been there.”
Not that she hasn’t had help. She credits instructor Ann Finke with helping her learn how to put a bad hole behind her.
“(Finke) said it’s OK to be mad and stuff but you’re not going to be able to change it, so you just have to let it go,” Kylee said.
Such lessons are crucial since Kylee is naturally intense, whether it’s golf, school or playing basketball in the winter to stay in shape.
“She has always been very competitive and very driven,” Cathi said. “She doesn’t quite understand non-competitiveness.”
That carries over into her practice habits. She’s at the course – the real one rather than the backyard one – almost every day during the fall, spring and summer. Sometimes she’s just at the range and putting green, sometimes it’s that plus nine holes, sometimes 18 holes. When the weather doesn’t cooperate, she hits balls into a net in the basement.
That kind of preparation makes her goals attainable.
“I’m hoping to get down to around par consistently next year,” she said, “and by the time I’m a senior, hopefully get a couple of state championships.”