Tumwater High School’s Kayla Monroe Swings to Success


Kayla Monroe has a lot to be proud of in her high school career. The Tumwater High School student-athlete has already marked many milestones and seen many successes—all in her freshman year.


Being a freshman in high school is hard enough. Throw in basketball, golf and friends, and you’ve got quite a juggling act. While Kayla’s specialty isn’t juggling, she’s certainly kept all of her responsibilities in the air.


Fifteen-year-old Kayla, jokingly compared to Tiger Woods by her Tumwater teammates, has only been playing golf competitively for about three years, and she is already one of the top female golfers in the state of Washington.


“I’ve played fast pitch, soccer, basketball and golf. Golf is my main sport. It became my main sport when I shot my lowest score [at the time] for 18 in districts [at the WJGA tournament] a couple years ago. I shot a 95,” Kayla recalled. “I came off with a big smile on my face and told my dad I wanted to get serious about golf.”


And serious she was. Now that Kayla’s been able to hone her skills, she has been regularly competing in several golf tournaments in Washington in the past couple of years: the WJGA (Washington Junior Golf Association) Tournament, the Bay Shore Golf Club’s tournament in Shelton and the Dick Kanda Golf Tournament in Olympia.


Kayla had always played golf individually, never playing the sport as part of a team. Once she got to high school, she decided to join the girl’s golf team and experienced her first season playing with others for a goal, rather than solo.


“It was fun, they were fun to be around and make jokes with,” Kayla said of her first season with the T-Birds girl’s golf team. “I didn’t know what to expect, my brother had told me about it, but I had to see it for myself.”


And her first experience as part of a team was another notch of success.


“Last year, the team was 2-6,” Tumwater High School alumni and girl’s golf head coach Brent Bryant said. “We went from 2-6 last year to 6-3 this year. We finished 4-2 in league, came in third in league and broke the school record for best combined score. Those accomplishments were huge. It was all within a three month span.”


The culmination of the season was an accomplishment for Brent, Kayla and the entire team. It was Brent’s first season coaching at Tumwater High School, Kayla’s first year and the team’s first record broken for all-time best score. Those accomplishments are what helped propel Kayla to become one of Washington’s best.


After the team ended the season strong, Kayla finished in the top 16 for districts, which qualified her for state. After the two-day, 36 hole tournament, Kayla finished in 12th place with an overall score of 177. Out of 80 female golfers in the state of Washington, Kayla made it obvious that she truly deserves to be called one of the best.


Coach Brent sums up a lot of factors that helped get her that far—beyond her obvious skills.


Kayla began golfing with her family at the age of 8. Her grandparents, dad, mom, aunts, uncles and brothers play too, so it had always been a family sport. It was with the support of her family that Kayla realized her potential in golf.


“It was amazing to watch Kayla go through what she did as a freshman. From having not played a lot of competitive golf, that was a great accomplishment. That capped off a great season,” he recalled. “The fact that her family is so involved—her dad is here at every practice, her mom comes out, her little brother comes. They come out and watch her during her matches. I think that has a lot to do with it. With her, it’s her family.”


Kayla’s dad Scott comes to every practice and every match, rain or shine. He even helps out whenever it’s needed. Having that support has helped Kayla come a long way.


“It’s definitely a family thing, and she has that,” Brent said.


As for Kayla’s biggest role model? The answer is no surprise.


“My dad,” Kayla said proudly. “He pushes me to do my best and he always encourages me. Every single time I get off the golf course his first question is if I had fun.”


Having the backing of family is important to anyone at any stage in life, no matter what feat they are tackling. For Kayla, it proved to be her strong point.


In addition to her talent and her family support, Kayla is a learner—in every aspect of the word.


“With Kayla, it came natural. Anything I ever asked, she was there,” Brent said. “I’ve taught thousands of students before, and with her, to be honest, it was probably one of the easiest. She listens, she grasps the game well, she knows what you’re saying and takes it and works with it as you’re teaching her.”


Off of the golf course, Kayla’s ability to learn and succeed is evident. While Kayla played on Tumwater High School’s girl’s basketball C-Team and played golf nearly every day—she finished the school year outstandingly with a 4.0 GPA.


“When I’m at school and learning, that’s what I’m focusing on. Especially on a match day, I don’t worry about the match until school’s out and we’re on our way to go play,” Kayla said. “School definitely comes first.”


Kayla hopes that one day the roles will be reversed and she’ll get to help young kids. Her dream is to be a math teacher.


“Kayla provides being a good teacher. And when she talks about being a teacher and teaching math, I can totally see that,” Brent said. “She helps me out too, and with the other girls that need help, Kayla’s right there.”


For now, Kayla is enjoying the summer before her sophomore year, getting in as much golf as possible. She hopes to improve on her game some more and look for a return to state next season. Brent said for her, that opportunity is very likely if she keeps up her hard work.


“I know she has the game, I know she has the capability. I know she has all the ability in the world to get to that,” he said of her returning to state. “With her, the sky’s the limit. To me, she can go as far as she wants. I can see her doing something special, definitely.”


Tumwater High School practices and holds all of its home matches at the Tumwater Valley Golf Club. Head Coach Brent Bryant is also a personal golf instructor, with his own business called Bryant Instruction. Keep your eyes out for Kayla next spring as a T-Bird golfer!

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