Girls Golfer of the Year

Freshman Phenom

Southmont’s Addison Meadows has historic season; earns Girls Golfer of the Year

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Addison Meadows has been playing golf since she was two-and-a-half years old. She knew it would be the sport she would dedicate all of her time towards. After becoming the first player in Southmont High School history to qualify for the state finals, and breaking almost every school record in her first season, Meadows is the 2021 Journal Review Girls Golfer of the Year.

Meadows has been playing in summer tournaments for years and that experience allowed her to not only better craft her game, but to fall in love with golf as well.

“Once I got playing in those tournaments, playing against girls my age who are very good, that’s when I knew this is what I want to do,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed it ever since and when I play in those types of tournaments it pushes me to continue to get better.”

Meadows helped lead the Mounties to a historic season. Individually, she broke the school record for low nine-hole score (34), low 18-hole score (73) and low nine-hole average (38.5). As a team, Southmont also broke the nine-hole score and the 18-hole score by shooting a 341 at this year’s sectional. With all of those accolades, Meadows can add that she was one of only eight freshman to compete in the state finals, and the only one to compete as an individual.

“To make it as the only individual freshman was a pretty cool feeling,” Meadows said. “To me that’s a big achievement and it was just a fun experience at state. All season my teammates continued to push me to go harder, and there were some struggles along the way, but at the end of the day it was fun and I made some really great memories not only by myself but with the team because we had so much success.”

Southmont coach Bill Whalen remembers the first time he saw Meadows play. It didn’t take long for him to realize he would soon have an outstanding player on his team.
“You heard through the grapevines that there was this girl at junior high who was playing outstanding,” he said. “I finally had the chance to go out and watch her myself and you instantly knew that she was going to be special. During our sectional championship season a few years back, she came out and played a hole with the varsity team. She was still only in about fifth or sixth grade at the time and she ended up parring the hole.”

One would think with the immense talent Meadows possesses, she would immediately step in and be the number one golfer for Southmont. However, Whalen made sure she earned that spot.

“In our first tournament of the season I played her at our fifth spot,” Whalen said. “She definitely had to earn her way up to that number one spot.”

“There were some nervous moments at the beginning of the season,” Meadows said. “I was a freshman and there were three seniors on the team ahead of me, and I was afraid to take their spot.”

In the end, for the Mounties it didn’t matter who played where because along with Meadows, Southmont knew its team could accomplish great things.

“Macie (Shirk) pushed Addison a lot this season and at the end of the day I told them it doesn’t matter where you play,” Whalen said. “No matter where in the lineup they were playing, they were always playing against the course, not the opposing player from the other team. They did a great job of not getting caught up in where they were playing and it yielded great results for us.”

Making the season even more impressive for Meadows, was the regional she had to go through to make it to the state finals. The regional at Smock Golf Course in Carmel featured nine of the top 20 teams in the state. She was going up against the best of the best and proved she belongs.

“Getting to experience that — that’s only going to make her better,” Whalen said. “Coming into the season I thought she had an outside shot to make it to state, but knowing that regional, I knew it was going to be difficult for her. But she handled that course well, shot it well, and was able to make it out.”

Knowing she still has three seasons of high school golf left, this appearance at the state finals was just the beginning. Meadows knew it’d be a learning experience and now she’ll take that experience to make it back to the state finals and climb up the rankings.

“My goal for next season is to be in the top 10,” Meadows said. “I know I’m talented enough to do it. I’ll just have to push myself hard all season to be there, and to achieve that would allow me to set my goals even higher for the next two seasons.”

Sometimes it’s not easy to step in as a freshman and immediately be a leader. However, for Meadows she was able to slide right into a leadership role and wasn’t afraid to help out her teammates.

“Being number one on the team doesn’t mean I’m the best, it means I take responsibility and try to lead the team to success and that’s what we did this season, we broke records and had a ton of fun along the way. This team was such a good friendship and family,” she said.

With such a historic freshman season in the books, many people will ask “Where does Meadows go from here?” The answer according to Whalen is pretty simple. Up.

“The scary thing about her is she’s only going to get better,” he said. “With winning county, conference and sectional, she’s going to want to continue to do those things. The biggest thing moving forward for her is she is going to increase her distance and that will help improve her overall scores. It’s going to be fun watching her these next three seasons to see where she goes.”

She took the golf world by storm this season, and with her only improving, Meadows is ready to show she is one of the top golfers in the state.

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