It was my pleasure to interview a really remarkable young lady recently. Madelyn (Maddie) Prince has grown up on Hilton Head Island since the age of 2.
She was born in Ohio and still has family there. She is third-generation Navy and always wanted to go back north for school.
Maddie got interested in the game of golf at age 9 when the Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head started a program called “Hooked on Golf.” She later joined our LPGA Girls Golf Club for several years. She enjoyed golf because it was fun and she could work on the game as an individual.
“Golf taught me that in a lot of situations you have to rely on yourself to use your gut feelings,” she said. This became very important in her future endeavors.
Maddie recently started mentoring the LPGA Girls Golf program in which she participated as a young girl. “I enjoy teaching the girls life lessons,” she said.
Every year that Maddie played on her high school golf team, she improved.
Golf taught her the discipline she needed to succeed in all areas of her life. “Golf is a self-governing sport that teaches you honesty and discipline,” she said.
Maddie also played lacrosse during her high school career. Lacrosse helped her hand-eye coordination and taught her to keep her eye on the ball.
In ninth grade, Maddie joined the ROTC program at her high school. She always had an interest in the military. Her ROTC badges include academic awards and physical fitness. She received the highest ROTC award, “The Legion of Valor” bronze cross, for the entire state of South Carolina.
Maddie recently was accepted to the Naval Academy. The application process took more than six months. She had to show fitness, have a high academic record (she is No. 2 in her class), get recommendations from teachers, and provide written essays.
The Naval Academy accepts only 1,000 students per year with only about 15 percent of those being female. Her commitment as a Midshipman is four years at the academy and then a five-year commitment to the Navy.
Maddie plans on going into the area of submarines.
With Maddie’s discipline, which she learned by playing golf, no doubt she will be successful in anything she pursues.
Dr. Jean Harris is an LPGA Master Professional and teaches at Brown Golf Management courses. jean.golfdoctor.harris @gmail.com; www.golfdoctorjean.com