by Bob San
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
Emily Petterson grew up in a golf family, yet she is a very late starter in the sport.
Petterson, who just completed a five-year career on the Osseo High School girls’ golf team, is the daughter of John Petterson, the Maple Grove High boys’ golf coach since the school opened in 1996. Her brother played high school golf and her mom plays in the golf league. But Petterson did not start playing golf until eighth grade.
“When I was young I actually did not like golf,” Petterson said. “I am left-handed and everybody in the family is right-handed so I didn’t have clubs. So I was in charge of driving the cart.”
But Petterson was active and played hockey for several years before she decided to give golf a try.
“In eighth grade, kind of on a whim, I said I want to go out for golf,” she recalled. “So I got some cheap clubs. Turned out I like it. I’ve been playing since then.”
And she has been good. Petterson made the Osseo High team in eighth grade and went on to play five seasons of varsity golf for the Orioles. She qualified for the state tournament and made all-conference in her junior and senior seasons.
Having a dad who is a golf coach has helped, Petterson admitted.
“Dad is a big influence on me. He is very helpful,” she said. “When I go play with him he gives me a little adjustment.”
Surprisingly, Petterson said she did not get any good-natured ribbing from other golfers about having a dad who coached at Maple Grove while she played at Osseo.
“Osseo-Maple Grove are big rivals but with golf we are pretty close,” Petterson said. “We carpooled and we are friends with some of their players. Golf is a pretty social event so you are out with other girls so we talk when we golf. I didn’t get any heat for it. Of course at home we still give each other craps back and forth.”
Petterson is happy she decided to play golf.
“The cool thing about golf, unlike other sports, is that it is a life-long sport, so even when you are older you can go out with your boss and play and collect your brownie points,” Petterson said. “When you look at the pros, you see teenagers and also people in their 50’s playing.”
Petterson has collected many fond memories from playing for Osseo.
“I got an eagle last year at state so that was very memorable. And the relationship with teammates will stick with me,” she said.
Petterson also enjoyed playing for two fine coaches. She played four years for longtime coach LeAnn Helgeson and her senior year for Bill
“LeAnn is the Coach of Hook-ups,” Petterson said. “Her son-in-law produced Hunger Game and we met the cast of the movie two years ago when they were here at the Mall of America. She had all these connections and she always told stories about celebrities and it’s fun to listen to. Quan is a different connection. He got us to play at Medina a couple times so that was really cool. I got the best of both sides with the coaches.”
Petterson is moving on to study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison this fall. She will continue to play golf.
“UW-Madison is Big 10 so they are really good,” she said. “But I hope to play leisurely, not competitively, unless it’s with my dad.”
Contact Bob San at [email protected]