Fairmont’s Senf waiting to tee off golf season
FAIRMONT — In her senior golf season, Bergen Senf was set for success.
The three-time state individual competitor had moved up her final position each time she competed, finishing 25th as a freshman, 16th as a sophomore and fifth last year as a junior.
Now, because of the COVID-19 shutdown of in-class learning and spring sports until at least May 3, Senf may have to hit the greens alone.
But even now, Senf is drawn to being on the course.
“One of the days last week before the course opened, we just went out and picked up sticks, my sister and I,” Senf said. “Like even just being on the golf course and outside was nice.”
Though she gets to enjoy some time on the golf course, missing at least the first half of her senior golf season is a disappointment.
Senf said with at least the first portion of the spring season cancelled and the future of her senior year uncertain, she’s most upset about missing the chance to spend time with her team.
“I was really excited for this year because unlike some of the years in the past, we, as a team, this year are really in a great position,” Senf said about Fairmont moving from Section 3AA to Section 2AA. “… We were really looking to make a chance at a state bid. And we’re really hoping to do that. So, personally, my goal is just to continue kind of being a bit of a scoring foundation for the team and supporting them as much as possible so we can make that state run.”
Along with her goals for the team, Senf has high aspirations for herself. She said she wanted to build off her success and hard work from last year to have a great senior season.
“Individually, I think last year was a really great year for me,” Senf said. “I was kind of on the grind, like 24/7, and I’m really proud of last year’s results. But this year, I was looking forward to working as hard as in the past, but just taking some time to kind of like slow down and appreciate the journey a little bit. But of course, at the end of the season, I was really looking forward to taking another crack at the state tournament and just trying to play my best and push my scores lower.”
Senf finished third in Section 3AA as a freshman to reach her first state appearance, took the runner-up spot in the section as a sophomore and then earned gold last year with a two-day score of 159 at the section tournament.
Senf went on to shoot 175 at the Ridges at Sand Creek golf course in Jordan during the state tournament as a sophomore, for 25th. Then she shot 165 as a junior for 13th and carded a two-day 76-79-155 last year for fifth as an individual.
The constant improvement comes from years of putting in extra work whenever possible. Senf said she has played golf since she was young enough to need plastic clubs. She said with a laugh that she spent a lot of time hitting wiffle balls in the yard and annoying her neighbors.
Senf said she has always been drawn to golf because of family, but also because of the necessary internal motivation needed to improve.
“One of the reasons I love golf so much is that it’s a constant kind of chase, which is also infuriating,” Senf said. “But I love that every day is unique. Every hole, every shot is new. And I love just the constant effort that you need to get better at golf. It’s really a process sort of thing. And I’ve really found a lot of my passion is just kind of pursuing that.
“But I think for me, the thing that I love the most about golf that goes beyond just the game is a lot of really important people in my life, I connected with or just had a deeper relationship with because of golf.”
Senf said she had spent much of the offseason as she has each year, making sure her swing is as consistent as possible. She said that and improving her short game where her main individual focuses going into this year.
Senf’s hard work has put her in position to continue her career at the college level, she said she chose to attend St. Olaf College in Northfield for both athletics and academics.
“I’m super excited about just joining a new community of passionate golfers,” Senf said. “I’m going to play D-3 golf because I think it’s a really great place to be a student and an athlete. A lot of the people that I’ve met that have played D-3 golf, they just play golf because they love to play golf. They don’t really have a financial component and I think that’s something I’m really looking forward to is just really getting into college life, pursuing my academics and then having fun with golf. I’m really excited about it.”
The Fairmont female AAA winner, for success in academics, athletics and the arts, is continuing to focus on her studies as FHS moves to fully online classes for the foreseeable future. She said the school has done a good job preparing students and teachers and she feels that though the situation is not ideal, everyone is trying to make people well-informed and comfortable.
While Senf waits and hopes for her senior golf season to begin, she said there are a couple of thoughts helping her through these tough times.
“I think first, I just kind of helps me to to acknowledge the fact that this is a really odd situation. It’s OK to be uncomfortable and to be sad and to be frustrated, because I think that’s a testament to how much golf or just school means to me as an important part of my life, because I’m sad about it, that it’s not here,” Senf said. “… But I think ultimately, after just acknowledging that, we have to put into perspective that there are things that are bigger than golf or my senior season or anything like that.
“Then, just taking this time to just be forced a little bit to slow down and connect with your family and just kind of enjoying simpler things right now. That’s been really big for me, too. Kind of taking this time to appreciate the gift of just slowing down and being with people.”