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Taylorsville Journal

Taylorsville girls golf was in good hands with Nielsen leading the way

Jun 06, 2024 09:25AM ● By Josh McFadden

Taylorsville’s Cailin Nielsen has been a leader and top performer on the girls golf team. The senior has also danced and plans to open a restaurant in the future. (Photo courtesy Cailin Nielsen)

At some schools it’s not unusual to find inexperienced players on certain teams. That can certainly be the case with girls golf. 

Taylorsville had a mix of newer players with those who have a few years under their belts. One of the most skilled, reliable golfers on the Warriors’ team was Cailin Nielsen. One of two seniors on the team, Nielsen was a steady performer for Taylorsville this season and throughout her career. 

“I am grateful for her leadership and work ethic,” head coach Eric Timpson said. 

Nielsen picked up the game when she was young and credits her father for getting her started. However, she’s still fairly new to the sport competitively, having mostly golfed primarily for fun and recreation before her junior season. 

“I have been playing golf since I could hold a golf club,” she said. “I believe I got my first clubs when I was around 5 or 6, so I went and hit balls with my dad and played a little bit. I got started because of my dad; he was the one to start me on the journey. He got me my first set of clubs and all the sets after that. I have always golfed with my dad, but I haven’t really started to compete competitively until last season because I danced on the side.”

She is always trying to hone her game. 

“I hope to improve on short game and my driver,” she said. “I have had a rough season with my driver, and I have been able to hit it one tournament, and then I can’t the next time. So, I want to work on consistency when it comes to the driver and also my short game as well. I want to always work on chipping but also work on putting because my putting is always where I need to improve on. So, I will always make sure that work on short game, and I always practice with all my other clubs.”

Nielsen loves the chance to compete alongside her Taylorsville teammates. 

As she reflects on the best parts of playing golf and being on the Taylorsville squad, it isn’t wins, nor is it even big shots she thinks about. Nielsen loves the closeness she felt with her teammates. 

“I have grown to love the sport this year,” she said. “Last year, I danced and golfed at the same time, which was hard, but I loved to do it. I have improved a lot this year, but I love the fact that I walk the courses and play with others; they are all so supportive, and so are the parents that come and spectate. I do like when I am able to hit the ball, but I more or less like the feeling when I complete the hole because I know that I was able to finish it. I really don’t mind the score, but I love the feeling when I finish the hole because if it’s a hard hole, I feel even more accomplished to finish it.” 

She said all of the Taylorsville players cheer for one another and are always in one another’s corners, no matter how they are hitting or playing on a given day. 

“The best thing about being able to play on the team is the people that I play with,” Nielsen said. “I love to see everyone work on their swings and also their short game, which always gets better. They are all so supportive, and I love to support them when they accomplish something, even if it is one good swing out of a rough day. I love to support my team when it comes to golf because it is a hard sport to play, and when you hit a good golf shot, it is fun to have someone to cheer you on.”

It’s no secret that golf can be a difficult sport to play. Even the best players can have off days and struggle with consistency. This can cause frustration. But Nielsen said one of her strengths is her attitude and outlook when she’s on the course. She said she’s also pleased with how well she has chipped this season. 

“I think my strengths are the way that I hit the ball to get it there, and my chipping,” she said. “I do have my off days and I have messed chipping up, but I think that my hitting and my chipping is what I am strong at. I also bring a lot of positivity when it comes to shots that people miss or that I miss; I will always look for the positive when it comes to that.”

After graduation, Nielsen plans on studying culinary arts in college. She wants to continue golfing by playing for the Utah Valley University team. 

You might even be able to eat at her restaurant in the future. 

“I want to open up my own restaurant so I can give back to the community,” she said. “I wanted to open my own restaurant because my dad can help me manage it, and also he has always wanted a restaurant to make food in. I also have always wanted a restaurant since I was a kid. As a kid, I wanted to be a baker and to have my own sweets shop, but I have now learned that I can cook, and I want to have a small sweets and restaurant business. Even if it isn’t big, I just want to have the place my kids can run when they are ready.”

Nielsen and her father have a close bond. 

As her Taylorsville career comes to an end, Nielsen is grateful for the support her father has given her. Through all the ups and downs of her golfing, her father has been her No. 1 fan and mentor. 

“I owe it all to my dad,” Nielsen said “My dad has been the person who has pushed and supported me through all of golf. He was the first one to put a golf club in my hand, and he’s been there for pretty much everything. He always tries to be there with my tournaments, and when he is he is always there to cheer me on when I’ve done good on a hole or if I have struggled on a hole. He has always been there for me. He has been my mentor since day one with my golfing, and he has done that since. I also owe it to the professionals; they were the people my dad looked up to. I’ve taken lessons from the pros at The Ridge Golf Course, and they helped me get my swing down. But I owe it all to my dad and the people that have supported me.” λ

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