St. Clair Shores Lakeview senior Hailey Elwarner takes a shot during a match earlier this season. The Huskies were 1-1 at press time.

St. Clair Shores Lakeview senior Hailey Elwarner takes a shot during a match earlier this season. The Huskies were 1-1 at press time.

Photo provided by George Spiteri

Elwarner, Lakeview golf ready for fall season

By: Zachary Manning | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published September 3, 2020


ST. CLAIR SHORES — There was a time back in her freshman year when Hailey Elwarner was struggling to find her way in the game of golf.

Her swing was inconsistent and most of her shots weren’t going very far. Still, she kept at it, while taking lessons to improve her skills.

She began working with Alex Macko, a PGA teaching professional at the Gratiot Golf Center. Over the years, her swing has steadily improved, which has led to better scores and an advancement up the ladder on the St. Clair Shores Lakeview golf team.

It’s been a long journey, one that Elwarner is proud she made. Elwarner took to the course and competed in her first varsity match earlier this season.

“When I first started playing, I couldn’t even hit the ball,” Elwarner said. “Now that he’s been giving me lessons, I’m doing a lot better and they’re going super far.”

Macko has been working with Elwarner from the beginning and has seen the improvements that she has made. Macko described Elwarner as a hard-worker that has always stayed positive throughout the lessons.

As a senior now, Elwarner has improved her swing mechanics and swing speed, which has allowed her ball to fly farther and straighter.

“She’s worked hard since she was a freshman, she’s taken her lessons, she’s played, she’s never given up,” Macko said.

Elwarner also credits Lakeview coach Karen Mazzola for her golf transformation. She said Mazzola creates a supportive and positive atmosphere for golfers to compete in.

Mazzola has enjoyed watching the work Elwarner has put in on a daily basis. No matter if she was going to be in the lineup or not, she was putting in the effort to improve.

“What probably brings me more joy than anything is the confidence that she has gotten over the last four years,” Mazzola said. “She loves being around the girls and the girls all love her. She’s just such a caring individual.”

At press time, the Huskies were 1-1 overall. Mazzola mentioned that this team is one of the hardest working she has had.

After winning the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division title in 2018, the Huskies now find themselves in the MAC White. They went 4-4 in that division one season ago.

Mazzola believes the Huskies have what it takes to compete for a top spot in the league. It won’t be easy, however, as Marysville High has gone undefeated in league play the last two years, while Romeo High has come out of the gates hot, defeating both Marysville and Lakeview.

“I feel this is going to be our strongest season as a whole,” Mazzola said. “In the past, I’ve had an individual player that’s stood out, but this year, I have a solid seven or eight girls that are just all right there ready to make the big mark.”