The end of Larisa Luloff’s college golf career came with plenty of fanfare.
There was the Women’s Golf Coaches Association NCAA Division III Golfer of the Year Award, an All-America fourth-place finish at nationals and a record-setting spring with her DePauw University team.
“It was the best season I could’ve asked for,” said Luloff, who posted the lowest scoring average (74.23) for any golfer, female or male, in DePauw history. “I can’t even say how much I’ve improved. I’ve always said I had a good mental game, but I don’t think I fully understood it or fully accessed it until this year. And suddenly, I can putt. This year, I could drain almost anything.”
The Cary-Grove graduate put her putting and mental game to good use at nationals last month in Houston.
Her four-round 301 (75-77-75-74) was the best performance in 15 appearances at nationals for a DePauw women’s player and earned her a tie for fourth place as an individual. DePauw’s 1,247 team total was a school record and provided a fifth-team finish.
For her career, Luloff’s 77.35 scoring average is tops in school history. In 45 career tournaments, she won eight times, placed in the top five on 30 occasions and had 37 top-10 finishes.
“I’ve thought about my legacy, but I don’t know if I really realize how much of an impact that might be,” she said. “I want to keep the team growing. Anything I can do to bring attention to the program and bring people in, that’s what I want.”
Although she doesn’t plan to pursue a professional career, golf could play a vital role in Luloff’s future.
Last summer, she worked full time at Tiger Pointe Country Club in Greencastle, Indiana, near DePauw’s campus. The course was bought by a DePauw alum, and Luloff’s coach, Vince Lazar, was named its general manager.
This summer, Luloff is teaching private and group lessons, growing a junior golf program and taking part in a PGA certification/apprenticeship program to learn about golf course management.
Luloff said she would love to one day coach at the college level. But first, she must decide between two career paths.
“I’m trying to do two things at once to see what I want to do,” she said. “I’m still preparing to go to law school. That was always my original intent.”
She plans to take the law school admission exam in July, then again in the fall. Meanwhile, her work at Tiger Pointe may lead to running a golf course or more.
“As much as I love golf, I never pictured myself running a golf course,” she said. “I pictured myself working at one of the associations or coaching. Golf courses do most of their hiring in the winter, so that will be a big decision time for me. Potentially, I could be picking a school or picking a job.”
That could change this summer, however. Luloff admits she enjoys being involved in many different aspects of overseeing Tiger Pointe.
“I learned how to regrip clubs [last week]. It wasn’t terrible. I think I can line them up straighter than [Lazar] can,” she said with a laugh.
Tarazi posts fast times: Auburn University freshman swimmer Valerie Tarazi (Prairie Ridge) posted her team’s second-best 200-meter and third-best 100 breaststroke times this season.
Tarazi’s top 200 time of 2:12.68 came in the Southeastern Conference championships, as did her best 100 time of 1:02.04.
• Barry Bottino writes a weekly column about local college athletes for the Northwest Herald. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow @BarryOnCampus on Twitter.