"Golf keeps me strong minded "- Elise Deschaine, 15 year old freshman at Central Catholic, who will compete at the Drive, Chip and Putt contest at the 2018 Masters!
Eastmoreland 100 is proud to present to you our favorite daughter, Elise Deschaine. She is one of the top junior golfers in Oregon, 2017 OGA tournament of champions winner, freshman on the Central Catholic girls golf team, and.... wait for it... a finalist for the Drive, Chip & Putt hosted by The Masters at Augusta National Golf Course!
Not only did Elise earned her entire family an expenses paid trip to the hottest ticket in pro golf, she will get to make putts on the 18th hole! According to Elise, she's most excited for this opportunity because "so many champion golfers putted on this green." As Elise adds her name to this legendary list on golf's hallowed ground, we are delighted to share that Eastmoreland is where it all began.
Here is Elise's story:
"I first started golfing with my Dad at Eastmoreland driving range when I was 10 years old."
Rob and Clark Cumpston have long supported junior golfers... though often the best way to encourage junior golfers is make it welcoming for parents and their kids. Ronny Deschaine, Elise's Dad grew up skateboarding with only some experience golfing here and there. As he got older, and no doubt with many a busted knee or bruised arm he found himself at the local golf range like many other sports minded adults who need to discover a new passion - without the toll on the body.
Ronny enjoyed going to the driving range just to hit balls after school and work for "Daddy Daughter time." Elise didn't like golf at all because she "was freezing" going to the golf course in March when the temperature is in the 40's. Elise was very frustrated with golf because she couldn't hit the ball (welcome to the club and read about the how these struggles date back to the very start of the course and that players-should-approach-golf-with-philosophy-1922.html) She thought that "this sport isn't for me" but she kept coming back (hat tip to Daddy Daughter time) getting better each day and soon enrolled with the 1st Tee of Portland at The Children's Course.
First I thought "this sport isn't for me, I can't even hit the ball!"
Elise's first took lessons with Eastmoreland local pro Michael Charles. She made a connection with longtime pro and champion junior golfer in his day, Ray Comella. Ray invited her to join the Eastmoreland PGA Junior team and this is when Elise's game jumped up a level. The PGA Junior events match up players in local competitions paired with a teammate, similar to how we set up Four-ball games in our weekly Sunday match. She learned how to control her mind to execute delicate short shots on the challenging Eastmoreland greens.
Elise couldn't ask for a better mentor. Ray Comella learned the short game for the local master Benny Hughes, UofO golfer from 1938 and City Champion. Ray, in turn, imparted this sage wisdom to Elise. Having a great short game is essential in golf, and no more so than Eastmoreland, which also requires players to deal with unforgiving lies and think creatively. No surprise that she's looking forward to the Chipping portion of the competition the most. Like a young jedi we can imagine the timeless advice of Ray Comella and Benny Hughes whispering in her ear as she approaches the green of Augusta National.
She will also be able to lean on her mom, Jasmine and dad, Ronny. Most of her golfing practice is spent with her dad close by and his game has improved as he listened in to the lessons. Together they would challenge one another to competitions, like closest to the pin, and putting contests. They would work on the same new shots together. This made Elise's goal of beating her Dad a bit more challenging as he improved from a GHIN 12 handicap all the way to a 6. Though Elise has recently jumped a step ahead with a GHIN rating of 4!
What is the "Drive Chip & Putt" and how did you qualify?
Drive, Chip and Putt is an event pioneered by the The Masters in partnership with the USGA and PGA that focuses on the key fundamentals of the game. Players compete in three seperate competitoong:
Below are some photos by Elise's mom Jasmine Deschaine from the Regional Qualifier in the Olympic Club in San Francisco. Note how Elise placed second in both the Drive and Chip portion of the competition with 3 shots behind the leaders. Her flatstick helped confirm the adage "putt for dough" as she pulled ahead by the slimmest of margins with a single point better than the runner-up. she quite literally won this competition by just inches.
Golf Channel and local TV stations flock to interview the Eastmoreland's champion entry into the 2018 Masters
"I'm just honored to make it to the final group" says Elise to the TV newscasters of KGW who interview our local entry to the Masters. For those that read this and are not aware, going to Augusta to compete really is a huge honor. There are many touring PGA professionals who competed in the Drive Chip and Putt when they were juniors. Simply the ability to be a competitor and meet the Pro's will do immeasurably benefit to Elise as she continues on with competitive golf. As she says, she values golf because "you have to be strong minded."
"I like setting goals for myself and in golf you are constantly doing that to get better."
Below are some photos from Elise's day with the Golf Channel as they toured Eastmoreland and played golf. Elise talks about how she is inspired by Lexi Thompson and participated in a golf clinic with Tiger Woods. She's already ready for primetime with her poise in the interview.
Everyone at Eastmoreland will be cheering for our favorite daughter at The Masters' Drive Chip and Putt. While we may not be up at 4am to watch the event live, we will be sure to have a watch party when it the airs in the West Coast!
See the Golf Channel Interview: Deschaine's Drive, Chip and Putt motivation, beating her dad