Golf has always been a big part of life for the Sloan family.



Steve Sloan was a member of the Class 6A state championship team at Wichita Southeast in 1979, and then went to golf for two years at The University of Kansas. His wife Becky has played in the women’s league at Crestwood Country Club for years.

Golf has always been a big part of life for the Sloan family.

Steve Sloan was a member of the Class 6A state championship team at Wichita Southeast in 1979, and then went to golf for two years at The University of Kansas. His wife Becky has played in the women’s league at Crestwood Country Club for years.

Steve cut short golf clubs for their son Charlie and twin daughters Maggie and Katie when they each were about 4 or 5 years old.

“Becky and I would both take some combination of the kids and go hit balls,” Steve said. “Late in the evening when we wouldn’t bother anyone, we’d go out there and play one hole.

“Golf has always been a part of our family.”

Charlie was a member of St. Mary’s-Colgan’s 2A state golf championship in 2009. Katie plays varsity volleyball for the Panthers but plays lots of golf in her spare time.

And Maggie capped her high school golf career Monday by capturing an individual 3-2-1A state championship for Colgan by shooting an 87 during rainy conditions at Stoneridge Country Club in Great Bend.

“Both of my parents presented the sport to us when we were little,” Maggie Sloan said. “They kind of brought golf into our world. It was something to do to hang out with family. All three of us kind of fell in love with the sport.”

But when Katie and Maggie entered high school at Colgan, Katie elected to play volleyball and Maggie chose golf. It was a tough decision for the twins, who excel together in basketball and softball. In fact, the two were a part of last season’s state championship softball team.

“I had never really experienced competitive golf,” Maggie said. “My freshman year, I was kind of indecisive about trying something new. But I thought if I didn’t like it, volleyball would always be there.

“I’m so glad I decided to play golf.”

However, while Maggie was used to playing golf, it took her a while to adjust to playing in front of strangers during competition.

“I pretty much had zero confidence in my game for my freshman and sophomore years,” Maggie said. “The summer going into my junior year, I played with a wide variety of people. Once I got used to playing in front of people I didn’t know, that really helped me succeed.

“That summer I was out at the golf course pretty much every day. If I was in town, I was playing golf. I told myself that summer that ‘you’re going to get good at this game, because it’s what you love doing.’ ”

Well, it paid off.

Maggie posted a successful junior campaign, ending with a third-place finish at state.

On Monday, Maggie took the next step by bringing home a state title.

No doubt, it was extremely rewarding.

“It was just awesome to see how far someone can come,” Maggie said. “My freshman year, a state championship wasn’t even in the picture.”

She gives a lot of credit to her parents for helping with the mental part of the game and rides to the golf course, as well as to her swing coach, Todd Casey.

“My Dad kind of showed me the basic swing pattern and the rules of the game,” Maggie said. “But he sent me off to Todd to perfect my swing. He has been so helpful over the years.”

But when it’s all said and done, it comes back to family for the Sloans.

Maggie returned home Monday night to music playing and a decorated room, compliments of Katie.

“She put a poster up on my wall, which I’m surprised Mom let her do,” Maggie said. “You know she cares, but to come home and see that kind of support, makes it all worth it.

“She’s definitely the No. 1 Colgan girls golf fan.”

Mark Schremmer is a Pittsburg native who has been a journalist in Kansas for more than 10 years. He currently serves as assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal. He can be reached at markschremmer@yahoo.com.