College golf awaits Becker |

College golf awaits Becker

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent File Photo

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Maggee Becker is the first to admit she’s no natural at golf. But the tiny redhead didn’t let that stop her.

Unfazed by hard work, the 2008 Glenwood Springs High School graduate fine-tunes her game nearly every day ” whether it’s working with her swing coach, taking cuts at the driving range or squeezing a round of golf into her daily routine.

All that work has Becker barreling toward a future of collegiate golf. With a partial scholarship in tow, she’ll be swinging competitively at Southern Arkansas University in the fall.

Aspen Glen Golf Club Director of Instruction Rich Ritter, that swing coach mentioned above, eagerly testifies to the work Becker has poured into her game in recent years.

Ask him about Becker and he’ll tell you a story about the summer leading into her junior year. After watching teammates Emily Hauptli and Lisa Richards make the state tournament, Becker’s dedication took new form. She wanted to make state.

“Maggee was bummed out,” Ritter recalled. “She didn’t have the swing. I made her a deal: ‘Look, I’ll teach you the swing. I’ll teach you from scratch.'”

From that point on, Becker became a veritable course rat.

“Her and her mom came to the club three to four days a week,” Ritter said. “Who has the work ethic to do that at that age?”

In reconstructing Becker’s swing from scratch, Ritter didn’t even allow her to hit an actual ball the first four months. She had to perfect every nuance of her new swing before that would happen.

“She never hit the ball,” Ritter noted. “We just did exercises.”

Those exercises paid off.

Becker went on to a stellar junior season, making the state tournament for the first time and finishing 17th overall. Her senior year had its share of highlights too, chief among them a Western Slope Regional individual title and another state tourney appearance.

Credit Becker’s perfectionist tendencies and an unmatched work ethic for the leap.

“I definitely had to work at it,” she conceded.

“I’ve worked with a lot of adults and kids, and Maggee knows more about the body and swing motion than anyone I’ve ever worked with,” Ritter lauded.

And so Becker takes that swing to Magnolia, Ark., where she’s pouncing on an opportunity that only recently became reality.

At the state girls golf meet in Golden two months ago, the possibility of playing at SAU had only just surfaced. Becker had previously planned on attending Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

After mulling it over for a while, Becker decided she wasn’t ready to stop playing golf.

It didn’t hurt that SAU had a quality pre-veterinary science program, the major she’s been committed to for some time.

Since she made the decision, Becker’s stepped up the practice time, fitting in lessons and playing whenever time allows. It helps that she works as a waitress at Aspen Glen and is never far from the links.

“I really just want to do the best I can to improve my game and be the best I can be,” she said. “I just want to try to take [golf] as far as I can, see how it goes.”

Glenwood Springs girls golf coach Kathy Whiting isn’t surprised to see Becker move on to the college ranks. She always expected Becker, who lives right down the street from her coach, to play at the next level.

“I’ve had my eye on Maggee for a long time,” Whiting said. “It was fun watching her grow up. Honestly, I thought she’d always want to play golf [in college]. She was just waiting for the opportunity to come up.”

That opportunity has arrived, and Becker’s ready to embrace it.

“I’m going to move my game up to another level,” she said.

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