Photo by Ben Beitzel

Photo by Ben Beitzel

DULUTH -- When she started eighth grade, Lindsay Adams also started a new team at Greater Atlanta Christian.

She was the sole and founding member of the GAC junior varsity golf team. She traveled with the varsity team all the way to the state tournament. Her scores were competitive, but her age kept her off the course.

"It was funny because everybody referred to me as the little munchkin," Adams said. "We went to state and I beat everybody in the practice round. I shot a 74. The girl that won it shot a 76, so technically I beat everybody."

Her senior roommate made her sleep on the floor.

"They were incredibly mean," Adams said. "They would say, 'You can carry our bags, freshman.' Are you kidding? I just beat you."

That was five seasons ago. Adams officially won her Class AA state individual title last year as a junior. She has won two region titles in her three years. And this fall she signed to play golf with Kennesaw State.

"It is crazy how fast everything has gone, because I graduate in a couple of months," Adams said. "I am excited. It opens a new book."

The college book begins next year. For now, Adams gets one final year with GAC, team bags and all.

"This is the first year we have ever had GAC bags," Adams said, noting her name will be on it. "We didn't even have our shirts monogrammed last year until we won region."

With Kennesaw on the horizon and her golf future secure, Adams wants to make this final round as a Spartan a little different.

"I think I'll make it more fun, rather than every year when we would go to tournaments and I would have to ride with my dad while everyone else road the bus," Adams said. "I was the odd man out. This year I think I can integrate with the team a little bit."

Adams insists she is a social person, despite the lone nature of golf.

"I love team stuff," she said. "You can win individually in high school golf, but you can win as a team, too. It gives you more of a people feeling, rather than just an 'I like to sit at home and read books' feeling. I love people."

Adams actually started her athletic endeavors playing softball. She was good, but small, and her parents moved her out of the batting cages and onto the driving range.

At the time, Adams was not pleased.

"I hated it," she said of golf. "I absolutely hated it."

Adams would throw the golf ball on the range when her parents weren't looking and it wasn't until she tasted tournament golf and winning that the game gripped her.

"Playing tournaments got me back in the softball kind of mode," Adams said. "And once I got back in that mode I started liking it so I started practicing a little more. Then I started winning."

Winning matters most to Adams. She needs competition to practice and even putts against her dad for M&M's. The trophy trumped only by the thrill of winning. And she doesn't even need a person to beat, just a challenge to best.

"If there wasn't competition I don't know how into it my head would be," Adams said. "I like playing against the course. You look at it like, 'This hole does not want you to get a four. It doesn't want you to, but you are going to. Better yet, let's get a three.'"

Adams practices golf every day. But even on a rainy day this winter, she hit balls in a hitting bay at the PGA Tour Super Store next to a GAC teammate. She is looking forward to bus rides and team practices together.

GAC coach Daniel Cline said Adams may go down as the best golfer to graduate from GAC, but Adams wants to be a teammate first. And a role model.

"This year, if I have to share a room with a freshman, she can have the bed. I'll sleep on the ground," Adams said. "You have to teach people how to be when they get older. You can't teach people how not to be. Most people they make fun of the freshmen because when they were freshmen they were made fun of. If you put a stop to it everybody will be nicer.

"(This year) will be fun. It will be good. Meeting new people. I love it."