Athlete of the Week: Mariah Moore


Ashley Hawkins

“I get really excited to go play golf,” she said. “It’s serious, but it’s not super serious. So you could go out and you could just go to the driving range with your friends and chit chat the whole time.”

Lilah Ruud, Staff Reporter

Senior Mariah Moore has been playing golf since she was in seventh grade, having been encouraged by her father and grandparents, as they had all played golf while Moore was growing up. At first, she was not into the sport, but on vacation in Palm Springs, she tried it out and soon fell in love with playing.

“I like playing golf because it’s a very niche sport for girls to play,” Moore said. “And so to play, I’m kind of unique in that way.”

Before taking up golf, Moore was a dancer for 10 years, and she greatly enjoyed having a team to compete with as it felt like a family. 

An injury prevented her from continuing and despite being unable to participate in dance, she learned a lot from her experience dancing, which helped her transition to golf. Specifically, it helped her stay in shape and gain flexibility, an important factor for golf swings. Additionally, it served as an escape when she was feeling upset or angry, creating a healthy outlet that has now transformed into playing golf at the range.

“Dance taught me to find something that I’m passionate about and stick to it,” Moore said. “Because you’ll find people that you can surround yourself with that you like being around.”

Moore enjoys the social aspect of golf, and being able to play with friends is her favorite part. The driving range can get boring alone, so she enjoys target golf — a kind of competition at the driving range where a player will choose a spot and others will try to get their ball to land the closest. She also enjoys practicing with friends and making friendly competition, as well as being able to meet new people during matches. 

Moore has been playing golf for La Salle since her freshman year, though due to COVID-19, her freshman year season was cut short. Moore also plays for the Oregon Golf Association (OGA) in the fall and summer, as well as coaching golf summer camps at Sah-Ha-Lee golf course. She also enjoys going to Arrowhead Golf Course.

OGA works differently from La Salle as she plays individually in tournaments there, as opposed to playing for a team at La Salle. Moore enjoys playing as a team more — being able to get to know the people better and knowing people who will be at the tournaments with her. 

Though Moore enjoys the team aspect more at La Salle, she also enjoys OGA as it “gives you a lot of opportunity to play with different people and meet different people and get yourself out there to be seen by coaches,” she said. 

Moore said the hardest thing about golf is the mindset. Keeping focused through a bad shot, which provokes anger and frustration, is hard, but important. Even though it can be challenging, when there are bad days, she often spends time practicing and working to rebuild confidence as she plays on.

So far this year, the team has maintained second place in all of their tournaments. As the season wraps up, Moore hopes that the team will be able to win regionals and make it to state just like they did last year. 

“I think all of us want to go to state, and I think we’re all capable of going to state,” she said.

As Moore moves on to college, she plans to continue playing golf, but not for the school’s team. Whether it is an OGA tournament, a tournament in another state, or one at a different club, Moore plans to continue playing golf in the future.