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All-Area Girls Golfer of the Year: Idaho Falls’ London Hall

By Luke O’Roark | Post Register 

Idaho Falls High School head golf coach Kevin Kavran was shocked.

Idaho Falls’ London Hall poses for a portrait at Pinecrest Golf Course on Wednesday morning. Hall is the Post Register’s All-Area Girl’s Golfer of the Year.

London Hall had challenged him to a chipping contest during their first practice of the spring season.

The result: “She beat me so bad in that chipping contest that I was in shock. I wasn’t mad, I was very impressed,” Kavran said in an email to the Post Register.

Kavran shouldn’t be shocked that Hall is the Post Register’s 2017 All-Area Girls Golfer of the Year.

“I’ve learned so much about myself as a person,” Hall said of her season. “And being a golfer, everybody kind of makes fun of you a little bit, like, ‘you’re a golfer’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah, I’m a golfer.’”

Hall was the Tigers’ No. 1 girls golfer in 2017, leading Idaho Falls through a roller coaster-like season (she had to recruit players in order to form a full roster) and during day one of the 4A state golf tournament, where she was tied for fifth with 18-hole score of 84. Her score would eventually dip on day two, handling wind gusts at Pinecrest Golf Course and a botched drive on hole No. 4 that bumped her overall stroke count by two.

But that mistake made her more introspective — a component of golf she enjoys, and a component of her game that could make the incoming Idaho Falls junior one of the premier high school golfers for the next two seasons.

“I love golf because it’s an individual sport,” Hall said. “You can go and play it by yourself whenever you want, wherever. There’s probably a golf course wherever you go and so it’s just a very fun sport for me because it makes you think and be with yourself and know yourself.”

She finished 84-93-177 to place eighth overall at the state tournament. Idaho Falls placed fourth out of seven teams.

Still, Hall illuminates a grander component of sports: how one handles adversity and how sports can bond people of different backgrounds. It was a large reason why she was selected for the Post Register’s annual award.

“I learned about myself that I just have to play to the best of my abilities and it doesn’t matter what anybody else says,” Hall said.

Hall said she drove foreign exchange student Veronica Boccalini to and from practices and tournaments. She helped recruit Boccalini — who had never played golf before — for a team that had just three golfers at the beginning of the season.

Boccalini said Hall spent half an hour with her on the putting green one practice, teaching her how to read the Pinecrest Course.

“She has a been a blessing to me and I’m not talking about the fact that she would drive me to and from golf practice everyday including to tournaments in the morning and back,” Boccalini, who lives in Italy, told the Post Register. “She was so patient with me.”

For Hall, she said she’s improved almost every component of her game during year two, including her drive and mental fortitude, or confidence.

Kavran said she worked on her short game every day of last summer.

“It was amazing to see her progress from the year prior,” Kavran said.

Hall said she enjoys the camaraderie the sport brings to her and her teammates and the sport may help Hall earn a scholarship in a sport that is under represented in today’s collegiate sports landscape (research has shown that women make up 25 percent of all golfers, yet the growth of women’s golf has doubled recently).

“London is very deserving of this award,” Kavran said. “High school golf is a sport in which you can’t just play during the spring season. You have to work on your game all year long in order to be good.”

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