Hartlage honored by the country club | Sports

Elizabethtown Country Club has been like a second home to LPGA touring pro Lauren Hartlage.

She will remember what a special place it is every time she drives onto the grounds and sees the Lauren Hartlage Way sign at the entrance, which was dedicated on Friday.

“I grew up in Elizabethtown and I grew up at E’town Country Club and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for this place,” Hartlage said. “That’s where I found my love for the game.”

The entry sign is a fitting honor for perhaps the best player who learned the game on the local course, and it could inspire the next generation of players, says club pro Corey Stith .

“It’s pretty cool just because we’re such a small club, and with our junior program as big as it is now, a lot of kids see the sign or they’ll see Lauren hitting balls and they gather in kind of with her and look at her,” he said. “We’re very lucky to have someone like her reach the level she’s at.”

Hartlage has been on the road for most of the year after getting his tour card last December. She spent most of the winter in Florida preparing for her rookie season.

“I’ve probably been in E’town for three weeks total,” Hartlage said. “It was pretty nice to be back and freshen up. I’m back on the road on Monday.

Hartlage says she enjoys spending time away from the routine of the tour, and when she’s back home, she can be found on the practice field or in a cart playing with some of the budding young golfers on his home journey.

“I can always count on everyone to come up to me and ask me how it’s going,” she said. “I realized there are a lot of people following women’s golf now because I’m here.”

Hartlage’s season got off to a rocky start, but making the cut at the US Open was a big confidence boost, she said.

She currently sits No. 140 on the LPGA points list and needs to crack the Top 100 to maintain her touring status for 2023.

“If you play well in a tournament, obviously that will help you a lot,” she said. “A good tournament and you’re kind of back in there.”

Toya J. Bell