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Prep girls golf photo: Middleton's Kate Meier

Middleton's Kate Meier sends off a tee shot on the 11th hole at Yahara Hills Golf Course during Friday's Madison Edgewood Invitational.

Kate Meier has a motto that, like the game of golf, takes a while to master.

It’s “BWYFA,” which stands for “Be Where Your Feet Are.” The Middleton junior has stitched the five letters onto her golf gloves, and has been using the motto since her freshman year.

She says it allows her to focus on the task at hand, no matter what is going on around her on the golf course.

“You may not always hit the best shot, or the shot you envisioned, but just focusing on the next shot and what you’re going to do to improve or to save par,” said Meier, a team captain for the top-ranked Cardinals.

“Using that acronym helps me to stay in the moment and not worry about everything.”

Meier’s tenure as team captain is just beginning, but the effects of her leadership already are being felt.

“She is really good with keeping those young girls positive, and giving them some pointers on how to stay focused and not let the negativity of shots get into their head,” Cardinals sixth-year coach Becky Halverson said.

Last season was successful on several fronts for the Cardinals. Middleton went 9-0 in Big Eight Conference play and then won the conference tournament, shooting 349 to edge Verona by two strokes.

The Cardinals then brought home WIAA Division 1 regional and sectional team championships. Meier was the individual co-medalist at regionals, alongside teammate Payton Hodson, after shooting a 7-over 79 at Pleasant View. Middleton finished eighth at the state meet with team scores of 351 and 349 for a 700 total.

Last season served as evidence that Meier and the Cardinals have what it takes to compete against the state’s elite.

“Knowing what it takes to get to state and perform at that level is a good start to know what it is going to take to get back there. Every year I learn a little more to improve my game,” the right-handed Meier said.

And this fall, Meier comes into the high school season with momentum. She won the first flight of the girls state match play tournament at Reedsburg Country Club and is fresh off a victory in the Middleton women’s city tournament, held at Pleasant View Golf Course, after shooting rounds of 82-72. Her second round included a blistering score of 32 on the back nine.

The early returns from this season are positive. Meier shot a 4-over 76 to tie for first with Madison West’s Lillian Knetter at the season-opening Verona Wildcat Invitational at Edelweiss Country Club, which the Cardinals won with a team total of 336. Meier followed that performance a day later with a 2-over 74 to finish in a tie for third at Yahara Hills in the Madison Edgewood High School Invitational.

The strength of Meier’s game is her ability to hit the ball off the tee. She hits long, straight drives — which enables shorter approach shots into the green, especially on par-5 holes.

Golf can be a complicated sport, and having the right attitude or outlook is of utmost importance — especially when things go a little off script. Meier carries the disposition required for success.

“We support each other and focus on the positive things, rather than dwindle on the negatives in the past that we can’t change,” Meier said. “We just always want to look forward at what is ahead of us.”

Having a short memory is an ideal trait for a golfer, as an unlucky bounce or break can determine the outcome of the round. Meier doesn’t dwell on any negatives.

“She really focuses on the next shot at hand,” Halverson said. “She does a really good job with keeping her confidence going by thinking about those positive shots.”

As for her individual mindset, Meier has defined goals.

“I don’t want to be good, I want to be great,” she said. “I want to be as competitive as I can be this season.”

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