Some people are born with natural talent. Some people solve math equations right when they see them. Then there are people like senior Madison Talley, who could hit a golf ball from the get-go.
“I first started golfing when I was 8,” Talley said. “My dad golfed with friends and was stuck with me one day and I said, ‘I wanna try.'”
Soon after, her dad bought her a junior set of clubs and they returned to the course.
“I hit the ball on the first try and knew then that I could be pretty good at it,” Talley said.
After that, Talley golfed regularly and began registering and competing in tournaments. She said she did well in the tournaments and won some trophies.
In high school, the Clarksville, Arkansas, native won not one, not two, but three state championships.
“Golf wasn’t too popular at my school but it was a lot of fun and more of a learning experience to get to college and my main goal of wanting to play collegiately,” Talley said.
There was no doubt she could go play in college, but the main question was where. Her final destination even came as a bit of a shock to her.
“I told my parents I’d visit K-State but wasn’t going to go there,” Talley said. “I came and saw the town, coaches and university and saw all of the people and cool places and really liked it. It felt like home.”
After an ordinary freshman season, Talley began to break out her sophomore season. Talley had eight top-20 finishes, five top-10 finishes and also qualified for regionals.
She said the success came as a bit of a shock to her.
“It all just kind of happened and I just wanted to go with the flow,” Talley said. “I just kept playing well and realized regionals was a possibility and didn’t expect it until I was there.”
The success didn’t stop there, as Talley added eight more top-20 finishes and four more top-10 finishes her junior year.
“I had the realization that I could compete on the collegiate level with other big name colleges in the SEC, Big 10 and Big 12 which gave me confidence,” Talley said.
Her junior year, she was able to finish fourth at the Big 12 Championship, making her the first ever Wildcat to finish in the top 10.
“It was really cool and a big honor,” Talley said. “The team we have now has really made an impact on this program and I just try to use my successes to help motivate the team and make it better.”
Talley, along with the rest of the team, has big plans this year.
“Our number one goal is to make it to regionals as a team and compete on that next stage level,” Talley said.
Talley said she also wants to win a tournament this year, which would be her first collegiate win.
“It would be awesome to win a tournament,” Talley said. “I’ve came close a couple times but it’s never worked out and if it’s meant to happen it will but it’s not something I’m going to stress over.”
After playing at K-State and the countless number of swings she’s taken over the years, Talley said she thinks she owes it to herself to try and turn professional.
“After all of the hard work that I have put in over the last few years, I think I deserve at least a shot to try and go pro,” Talley said.