Female Golf Sensation Morgan Goldstein is Playing it Cool
Top 2019 Female Golfer : Morgan Goldstein
Article By: Marc Bowman
Senior Staff Writer @RecruitLook
When she’s on the links, Morgan Goldstein never lets on about what kind of round she having.
Good or bad, she has the same approach. The 13-year-old (class of 2019) Goldstein has reached the top of youth golf ranks despite competing against boys as much as five years older, earning national rankings, qualifying for national tournament championships and attracting the attention of several collegiate programs.
Through it all, Morgan has maintained an even temperament.
“I play with a lot of juniors,” she explained. “I see how they react when they hit a bad shot and I say to myself ‘I don’t want to act that way’. If I do, it shows my opponent that I’m not that good. I want to have a level demeanor. If I get a birdie I celebrate in my head.”
“She does not carry herself as a 13-year-old,” said Las Vegas-area RecruitLook scout Tommy Canale. “Her demeanor on the course is far superior. You put her with a bunch of 18-year-old girls and you’d think she was one of them. She’s very calm with a mild demeanor.”
Morgan believes a level demeanor is necessary to successfully competing.
“It gives the opponent an ability to get ahead of me if I react (to a bad shot),” she said.
“She’s one of those golfers who, you watch them and have no idea where they are,” said her father, Bruce. “She could be ten over or ten under and you wouldn’t know. I hear quite a bit from other parents how Morgan is mature for her age. If she hits a bad shot you’d never know; it’s done and it’s over. How many competitors do that… at any age?”
She also carries the same attitude towards all the attention she’s receiving for her phenomenal rise through the ranks of youth golfers. While she has a positive view of her future, she also tries to keep it in perspective.
“I think it’s pretty cool that people get to see me and my outlook on golf and different things,” Morgan said. “I see my dad’s Facebook where people post stuff about me. If they post good stuff, I try not to get cocky. I’m thankful that people care. If they post bad things, I try not to focus. I focus on the positive outlook on things.”
Among the positive things are the attention she is receiving from college programs.
“Her upside is tremendous,” Canale said. “She won’t have to worry about colleges. She’ll just have to decide where she wants to go. Her dad wants her to get an education.”
“She’s gotten several letters from D-1 schools showing they are interested,” Bruce said. “Then, at a tournament there were several college coaches who watched her.”
Bruce wouldn’t name the schools but allowed that they were “some good school with good golf programs.”
“There are great opportunities,” Morgan said. “It’s about how I control my attitude at golf. I think it’s pretty cool going to some of these colleges and seeing how my future is going to look. It’s about how I can keep positive influences so I can get there in life.”
“They (colleges) are not allowed to talk to her because she’s just in eighth grade,” Bruce said, explaining that they would get more serious about the recruiting process “sometime in ninth grade or maybe this summer.”
“We may visit come colleges this summer depending upon the tournaments she’s in,” he said. “In the next year she’s going to have to visit schools, but it’ll be at least a year before she talks to a school. We’re starting to slowly feed her information. It’s more in the parents’ minds than in her mind.”
What is on Morgan’s mind these days is a bit of sibling rivalry.
A year ago her younger brother, Aidan, qualified to represent the state of Nevada in the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt competition, helping realize a dream of Bruce’s to visit Augusta National. Aidan was one of 88 kids who qualified out of 17,000 to 18,000 who entered, representing the 10-11 age bracket.
“Morgan had been the one receiving accolades, and that really propelled Aidan,” Bruce said. “We all went as a family. She went but wasn’t in the competition and she saw some of her friends out there. She was itching to get out there.”
This year, twice as many entrants resulted in a third round being added to the qualification staging, and Morgan has earned U13 qualification for the April 5 finals.
“She’s thrilled, really excited,” Bruce said. “She got interviewed by the Golf Channel and saw herself on TV. She doesn’t talk much about it. I know she’s nervous but she’s not showing it.”
Watching from the sidelines the previous year inspired Morgan.
“I went last year and saw my brother play,” she said. “It was beautiful there and I said ‘OK, I’m practicing so hard so I can come back to this course’.”
As she prepares for Augusta, Morgan will continue to play in juniors tourneys across the southwest.
“From the boys’ tees she shoots 77, 78. She’s not real long off the tee, but she’s real accurate and her short game is good. The way she navigates the course is way beyond her years. That’s why she’s competing against the 15-to-18-year-old boys,” Canale said.
Morgan has succeeded against a variety of competition, taking second in back-to-back tournaments last fall – the Meeks Nevada Day Fall Classic, where she shot 80-72, and the National Tour Las Vegas Series, where she shot 74-68.
She followed this by shooting 74-74 to win the Southwest Junior Golf Tour Highland Falls/Palm Valley tournament against age 13-14 boys. This year, she has had a pair of sixth-place finishes in the San Diego Junior Amateur and the Toyota Tour Cup at La Quinta.
It’s been a meteoric rise for a kid who didn’t start playing until five years ago.
“My dad started playing and I just picked it up when he asked me to pick up a golf club,” Morgan said. “I just started hitting. I watched my dad play and it looked really fun so I started playing. When I first hit the ball, my dad was so shocked. I started playing every couple of days after that. A year later, my game had really picked up.”
“She’s an amazing girl,” Bruce said. “Such an athlete. She can pick something up and do it immediately. She played tennis for a while and she played baseball on my son’s team and was one of the only kids to hit a home run. She’s always had power and she has great hand-eye coordination.”
She also enjoys the competition, striving to master each level.
“It was sort of hard competing with the girls and keeping my head in the game,” she said. “Then I got used to it. It was easy to keep the mental game up. It’s easier to compete with the course.”
Morgan still gets a lot out of competing with older players.
“It’s pretty cool to see how they play and talk about what they’re doing in life,” she said. “I hear what colleges they are going to and see how consistent they are. It helps me keep up with them. I try to look at who is positive in life.”
Her fans will get to see her compete in upcoming tournaments, beginning March 21-22 in the Toyota Tour Cup event at Hunter Ranch, and March 30 at the USGA 4-Ball Qualifier.
Then it’s on to Augusta as Morgan adds to her already impressive resume.
And keeps her cool throughout.