Practice makes perfect for Rifle’s Forney |

Practice makes perfect for Rifle’s Forney

Baron Zahuranec
Rifle Correspondent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent file

RIFLE, Colorado ” As the club sliced down, the ball jumped off of the fairway, flew 30-odd yards and bounced lightly on the green.

The shot didn’t seem to be online. It should’ve been closer to the hole, more to the left.

“I didn’t want to come too close to hitting you,” soon-to-be Rifle High School junior Loren Forney said as she picked out her putter.

The reporter/photographer must have been in the way trying to nab a photo.

“You were a little in my way,” she affirmed on her way to the green.

Forney was practicing this week at Rifle Creek Golf Course for the umpteenth time in her life. Since she was just 5 years old, her practice time has come a couple of times a week, being driven around by her dad, Keith, and mom, Deanna.

When she’s practicing, she simply likes to be on the course. She’ll get her driving, chipping and putting in, but doesn’t really like to hit balls at the driving range to warm up.

“I’m not much on just hitting balls, there’s not as much practice that way. I’m not as focused,” she said. “You should practice how you want to play in tournaments. Hitting at the driving range doesn’t give me any real course experience.”

Add all of her practice hours up over all those springs, summers and falls, and Forney knows each hole at Rifle Creek like the back of her hand. She could probably shoot under par out there while blindfolded.

Where did Forney first find out about the relaxing game of golf?

“My dad got me started,” she said. “We’d practice every day, and I kept going at it and I didn’t want to stop.”

And she hasn’t.

On July 28, she tied for sixth at the Colorado Junior Golf Association Junior Series 18-hole tournament at Patty Jewett Golf Course in Colorado Springs. She shot a 10-over 82, shooting 41 on both the front and back nines. While she birdied holes 1, 5 and 13, she double bogeyed on holes 3, 4, 9 and 11.

She shot an 80 in the final round at Lincoln Park Golf Course on July 9 to get a 19-stroke win in the Western Colorado Golf Association Junior Tournament. The tourney was over three courses: Bookcliff Country Club the first day and Tiara Rado Golf Course on the second, before Lincoln Park.

She was also in Australia the end of this month to vacation and to play golf, and finished third in a tournament Down Under.

This school year, she hopes to be at the top of Class 4A in the spring state tournament. In May, she took fourth place while hitting 160 at Rolling Hills Country Club in Golden, as a sophomore. She still has two years of high school golf ahead of her.

Forney is coached by her mother, Deanna, and they have both been walking the fairways together for more than a decade, since they both started playing golf at the same time.

“Both my mom and my dad are very supportive. They don’t push me whatsoever,” Forney said. “They make sure it’s what I want to do. I really appreciate all they do to help me with my game. My mom is my chauffeur everywhere I go. There’s not many mothers who would take their daughters to golf all the time. My dad helps me with my swing mechanics, and I guess I am taking his money.”

She doesn’t see herself quitting any time soon and is already looking at colleges. She loved the facilities and program offered at Arizona State University, where she attended a camp last month, and has also looked into Colorado State University and Florida State.

Out on the course, she doesn’t have teammates to rely on, just her own ability and what is in her bag. She hits off the tee with her driver and then uses her woods or irons. Closer to the pin, she zeroes in with her wedges.

Forney likes playing out of the sand, and fortunately for her, she’s not at the beach all that often.

“Maybe that’s why I like playing from the sand so much,” she said. “The trick shots are always kind of neat, too, when you’re behind a tree and you have to hit a low hook or a fade to get out of there.”

If it’s raining outside and practice needs to be had, don’t look any farther than the television.

“I think I have every golfing game that has been made. I have one for the Wii and I can putt and drive all I want on there,” she said.

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