MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Using an artist’s passion, a musician’s precision and a reader’s patience, a 14-year-old Mequon girl is quickly making a name for herself: on the golf course! If her nickname is any indication, her goals will be reached sooner, rather than later.
“As a little kid I was always fast at running,” Hallie “Speedy” Kent said.
Immediately upon meeting her, it’s clear why Hallie Kent is better known as “Speedy.”
“In kindergarten we would always have races, I’d always beat the boys in running,” Kent said.
It was around that age that her nickname could have easily been “curious” or something similar because that part of her personality would lead to one of the most important moments in her young life.
“I went down to our basement one night and I found these golf clubs that we inherited from my grandfather when he passed. And I asked my mom what they were,” Kent said.
From then on, there has rarely been a moment where Kent hasn’t had a golf club in her hand.
“I just loved it, could never put it down. If I miss a day of practice it feels like forever. So I want to keep on continuing to play this sport,” Kent said.
Kent spends countless hours working on her game. Many of those are spent with her coach, former tour pro Steve Friebert in Mequon.
“She’s practicing more every year. So she has that drive. She has the work ethic,” Friebert said.
“I work pretty hard at it a lot. I practice every day. So I have my mind set to it right now,” Kent said.
Kent and Friebert began working together when she was just seven years old.
“I love it though, because she’s a great person to work with — not just because of her gaining what it takes to become a good player. It’s because of her. She’s a great kid,” Friebert said.
Right away, Friebert realized Kent’s future in golf was as bright as anyone’s.
“She started looking at me and taking swings and she was making contact, sometimes really good contact. It made me think right away, ‘oh boy, this one’s special.’ And most of the time she absolutely was very driven to get things right when she wanted to,” Friebert said.
But getting things right on the golf course means getting things right off of it as well.
“She also gets great grades. She works at everything she does. If you want to play a high level golf, you want to go to a good college to play golf at a higher level, they will not accept you if you do not have good grades,” Friebert said.
“I’m looking forward to getting a college scholarship to Duke University. It’s a pretty lofty goal. Another goal would be to win the U.S. Open with my golf coach as my caddy,” Kent said.
That’s something she shared with Friebert after seeing the U.S. Open trophy up close.
“She had her picture taken with the trophy. It’s inside and it says, ‘Steve, this is in the future, you and I, U.S. Open trophy winner.’ It’s beautiful. It really makes me feel really special that she did that,” Friebert said.
“That would just be an amazing feeling for me because he’s always been for me through the ups and downs of life and I’m so thankful for that,” Kent said.
Kent will be a freshman at Homestead High School this fall. She says some of her other goals include winning a few college tournaments.
But most importantly, she says she’s just having the time of her life now — practicing and playing in tournaments this summer.