Tara Simmons ’17 to join all-star team on summer golf tour
Twice in her life, Tara Simmons ’17 has hit a hole in one. Once, she said, she was at a tournament during competitive play. But the other occurred during a casual round with her brothers, on a course where the hole had a hidden pin location.

“We couldn’t see,” Simmons said. “I had them walk me up because my eyes were closed the whole time. I looked down and saw the ball in the hole and just went crazy.” Simmons has given herself and her teammates several other reasons to celebrate since arriving at the College this fall, turning in consistent performances throughout her first year of collegiate golf. This spring, she capped off her inaugural campaign for the Big Green by placing 24th at the Ivy League Championships in Springfield, New Jersey. And over the summer, when her classmates and teammates scatter across the country, she will continue to represent the Big Green by travelling with a 2014 NCAA all-star golf team on a three-week tour of Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. “I think she’s someone who can help put Dartmouth on the map for the women,” coach Alex Kirk, who recommended Simmons for the all-star team, said. “Tara was excited for the opportunity. You get to see the world.” On the tour, the 31st in the program’s history, Simmons will join nine other golfers from powerhouse programs. The student-athletes, selected for their performance both on the course and in the classroom, will participate in public relations events and play local all-star teams. Simmons first began golfing at the age of 7, when her father, a fan of the game, began to teach her based off magazine features on professional golfers. Simmons said she played as a kid with her father and two brothers and fell in love with the sport. In high school, Simmons won two state championships while maintaining her academics. A four-time conference player of the year, Simmons also served as president of the national honor society at her North Carolina high school and graduated as class valedictorian. While the collegiate golf season focuses on short tournaments that fit around the academic calendar, Simmons also has experience playing in longer tournaments like the upcoming tour. She once played in series tournaments for 20 straight days in high school while preparing to get recruited, she said. Described as feisty on the course and funny off it by her coach, Simmons said that she was initially drawn to Dartmouth for its size and for the strength of community present at the College. “When I went on trips, I knew I made the right decision because I’ve never had so much fun in my life,” Simmons said. “I love everything about it. It’s the place to be.” While her summer plans will take her away from the College, Simmons will travel and also improve her game. For players in the past, Kirk said, summer internships have conflicted with opportunities like Simmons’ travel with the all-star team. “It’s great that she’s going somewhere to play golf rather than sitting in a cubicle in Manhattan,” Kirk said. “She’s getting to travel, see the world, see new people, new places.” Simmons and Kirk said they hoped the training over the summer will translate into success during the fall season. Kirk, who just finished his second year at the helm of the Big Green golf team, hopes that Simmons’ experience can help bring the program exposure. “You can get a great education and play some competitive golf,” he said. “I’m feeling good about what we’re building.”
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