Granite Bay girls golf team claims their first CIF state championship

The varsity girls golf team broke the prior scoring record at the CIF State girls golf championship and school history with their victory.


Special to Granite Bay Today/Tavia Burgess

The girls golf team wins the CIF State championships and sets a new scoring record.

   Granite Bay High School senior Anika Varma takes a deep breath as she lines up her shot; luckily, this isn’t the first time she’s teed up, and it won’t be the last. Reassuring herself, she calms any negative thoughts about her abilities from disrupting her concentration over this single shot. With 12 years of experience, Varma’s confidence comes from her talent on the turf—only a week prior to the CIF State Championships, Varma posted a top 10 finish at the Women’s Amateur Asian-Pacific championship.

   She swings and watches the ball soar. 

   And soar the Granite Bay High School’s girls varsity golf team did. The team of six claimed the state championship title by over ten strokes to runner up and previous champion Palo Alto High School on Nov. 16 at Poppy Hills Golf Course.

   The team has an impressive scoring record, earning fourth place for three consecutive years. 

   After COVID-19 caused a dormant 2020 season, 2021 was a breakthrough. Seniors Varma and Hannah Harrison along with junior Ellie Bushnell and sophomore Tavia Burgess all shot a one over par 71. Sophomore Lauren Pierce shot a 83 and freshman Taylor Peterson shot a 91. 

   The player attributed their success to hours of dedicated practice and understanding of the complicated game. 

   The hours of preparation translate onto the course.

   “If you’re running or doing track, it’s [for] a really short time.” says Varma. “But in golf you have to be on the course for six hours.”

   As players spend so much time playing compared to other sports, the mental game, which players described as one’s feelings, decisions, and emotions before each swing becomes extremely important.

   “Golf is not a physical sport,” said Varma. “It’s more mental.”

  “It’s really important to have a positive mindset… going into your round because your mental mindset can change how you play drastically.” Harrison said.

   The team not only won the state championships, but they also shot the lowest score ever in the history of the tournament. Coach Jason Sitterud praised the girls for their solid play.

   “One could make the argument that they might be the best team ever.”