Emma Carpenter Feature


Austin Lentz, Editor

For many around the world, golf is a game of relaxation, a place to clear your mind. All while trying to hack around a ball, while your friends make fun of your swing, as you shank it onto another fairway.

Others are born with a talent for the game, effortlessly hitting the ball with ease and putting up great scores.

One University of Minnesota Women’s Golfer,  Emma Carpenter, 22, may have never found out about one of her many talents unless her father pulled her out of the pool.

“I always lived on a country club golf course and the only amenity I used at the club was the pool. One day I think I was 12, my dad pulled me out of the pool and brought me to a Drive, Chip, and Putt competition. I won some little competition, someone told me that I had a little talent and ended up just going straight into it,” said Carpenter.

Carpenter progressed quickly, gaining technique and adding yards to her drive. She attributes this to her high school team, where she played with and against all boys, after only golfing for a year and a half. 

“When I started out we didn’t have a girls golf team, so I tried out for the boys golf team. I was playing against the guys all through high school and that was a really interesting experience for many reasons.” 

“It’s actually a funny story, at first my coach didn’t want me to play on the boys team and I made the team outright,” said Carpenter. 

Playing against boys brought many challenges to the game for Carpenter. Playing from longer tees and navigating being a girl playing against boys. She often found herself receiving backhanded comments from parents of the opposition. 

“At the start [of a round] I’d have some parents come up to me and be like ‘oh my gosh my son is gonna be so mad if he loses to you today’ or they’d say ‘wow good for you you’re seriously gonna play from where my son plays too, that’s such a disadvantage,” explained Carpenter. 

Golf isn’t the only thing Carpenter does, she loves to sing. Carpenter has been classically trained for 10 years, and throughout high school she spent more time singing than playing golf. 

Carpenter sang in theater, choir and a cappella, but she gave it up entering college in order to focus on her golf game, Looking to become the best she could be. However she found she was missing a piece of herself. 

“I wanted to see if I can get really really good and I did find I didn’t do any better, because the truth is, I think as an athlete, while your sport is your whole world, you also can’t let it take hold of your identity,” said Carpenter. 

In the fall of her Junior year she picked up singing where she left it, singing her first National Anthem at the University of Minnesota for a volleyball game. 

“I was so nervous because I hadn’t sang, I hadn’t performed in forever, I literally hadn’t done it in three years, I was so nervous. And immediately after I was done I was like oh my gosh, this is a piece of me that I’m really passionate about and I loved it.” 

She has now sung it at every single sport except for football, singing it over a dozen times.

On top of all this Carpenter doesn’t stop there. She also hosts a podcast called “5 Clubs” with Gary Williams, and does sideline reporting and play-by-play color commentary for Gopher sports. 

One might ask, how does she do it all? How can she stay on top of everything?

“I like to stay busy. It’s almost like when I have days to relax that I get more stressed because I’m thinking about all the things that I need to do. But I do need to sleep sometimes, for a really long time,” joked Carpenter. 

Carpenter doesn’t know where she will be in five years, and for good reason, she has accomplished so much in the last five years that there is no telling where she will go. 

One thing is for sure, Carpenter has another year of eligibility due to the NCAA’s policy change during the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be back at the University of Minnesota for graduate school and a fifth year of golf. 

Carpenter hopes to see the women’s game grow regardless of the sport. Even adding a message to girls everywhere:

“There’s a community of women who are so excited and so welcoming for really anyone to get involved. No matter age, skill level, whatever. Everyone is just so excited at the idea of more women getting involved in sports.”