Reflecting on a golf tragedy

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The world of college golf was shaken recently at the horrific ending of the life of former Iowa State Cyclone golfer, Celia Barquin Arozamena.

On Monday, Sept. 17, Arozamena’s body was discovered in a pond on a golf course in Ames, Iowa. Reports state that the young lady’s body had suffered multiple stab wounds.

She was 22 years old.

Barquin Arozamena was a champion golfer. This past spring, she won the Big 12 Championship. This is an amazing feat considering the strength of that conference. At the conclusion of the season, she turned professional and qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open. Her career was only beginning. She was a good student, as well. This fall she was on track to earn her degree in Civil Engineering. Tragically, it has all come to an end.

I am sickened by this story.

Not only as a father of two children, a golf coach of six young women, but I’m sickened as a human being.

Golf courses are like sanctuaries. They are a place you go to feel better.

Celia woke up on a Monday morning and did exactly what many of us would like to do.

She went golfing by herself. She went to her sanctuary to work on her game and make herself happy. So many of my fondest memories in golf happened while I was playing alone on the golf course. It’s peaceful, provides the perfect environment to gather your thoughts.

Golf isn’t accustomed to this type of tragedy, and I hope that the effects of this horrific event will make us all pay closer attention to our surroundings. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an absolute safe place to be anymore. Not even on a golf course.

Stories like this cause me to feel an even deeper sense of responsibility as a women’s college golf coach. I consider myself to be not only a coach, but also a mentor and a friend to my players. It is my responsibility to help these young women succeed both on and off the golf course. As I sit here today, I find myself more committed than ever before to make sure that I help these young women achieve their dreams.

Though I didn’t know Barquin Arozamena personally, I can tell that she was a great example of what it means to be a student athlete in college.

She was a champion golfer who was about to earn an engineering degree.

RIP Celia Barquin Arozamena.

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