Not So Easy

Golfer Jillian Blocker overcomes both mental and physical obstacles to get where she is in golf


Brody Carlson

In spite of her struggles with the mental aspect of the sport, golfer Jillian Blocker is named Student Athlete of the Month for September.

Sofia Ball

Golfer Jillian Blocker was putting the finishing touches on her bracelet in her first-hour art class when she was unexpectedly handed a pass that said, “SEE MR. GIACALONE IN OFFICE” in bold black marker.

“After seeing the pass, my first reaction was, ‘Oh boy what’s this about, I hope I didn’t do anything wrong,” Blocker said.

Her heart was racing as she headed down the hall, feet feeling like blocks of cement.

To her surprise, she was greeted with a plaque stating she had been chosen one of the two Student-Athletes of the Month.

“It was not at all what I expected,” Blocker said.

Blocker has only been playing for three years and already she’s made major improvements.

“It wasn’t until last year that I started working more on my own,” Blocker said.

Blocker’s many long and short-term goals include scoring higher in tournaments, improving form and working harder in practice.

“We have tournaments usually twice a week and each time I try to shoot for a better score,” Blocker said.

Golf isn’t always physical. There’s a vital mental component to it as well.

“Golf is a mental game and arguably one of the most frustrating sports because of how individualized it is,” Blocker said. “It’s just you and it’s easy to get down on yourself and get really frustrated. I still get frustrated all the time about it. It’s easy to want to quit but don’t, because it’s very fun once you get it.”

Blocker tends to be extremely hard on herself, especially when it comes to competing.

“If I hit one bad shot, I’m thinking about that for the rest of the tournament,” Blocker said. ”I take 12 seconds and think about what I did wrong. Afterward, I don’t let myself think about it anymore. It no longer affects me.”

Blocker has struggled with the mental aspect of the game. Her attitude changed at the beginning of her senior year. 

“This year, I’ve taken it on with the that it’s supposed to be fun, instead of having to be the best.” Blocker said.

Blocker’s dad encouraged her to join the golf team although she was unaware one existed. She started playing golf her sophomore year, during the summer of quarantine.

Blocker’s dad is also a golfer and has been playing golf since he was 18. He taught her everything she knows about the sport; how to hold and swing a club, how to pinpoint her skill set and how to improve herself. Her dad took her to the range for her very first time.

“When I started playing, it was very challenging,” Blocker said. “Looking over my accomplishments, I’m proud to say that I’ve placed in a few tournaments and I’m captain of the girls’ golf team.” 

Golf has helped her become more social, step out of her comfort zone and enhanced her time management skills.

“I’m not planning to play golf on a college team after graduating, but I will continue to play for enjoyment.” Blocker said. “I would encourage others to play because it’s a lifelong sport where you can meet different people of all ages and strengthen your mindset.”