Nine days after losing to LSU in the 2023 NCAA championship game, Caitlin Clark — the University of Iowa basketball superstar and projected 1st overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft — shared an Instagram story that wrote, "So back."
Where was Clark "So back" to, exactly? Not the basketball court, as one might predict. Rather, Clark meant the golf course.
Clark loves golf almost as much as she loves basketball. In fact, in a recent article from Golf Digest, Clark even said that her passion for being on the course aids her performance on the court.
"Something I can always improve on is my mental toughness. You have one bad shot on the golf course or on the basketball court, you gotta move on to the next," Clark said. "Obviously in basketball I have four other girls on the court with me that I can lean on if I'm not having a good day or shooting well. If I'm on the golf course, it's all on me. You have to accept that not every day is gonna be great for you. That's helped me by translating that to basketball."
Golf surely can be humbling at times — especially for "average" players like Clark, as she described herself as in a Big Ten Network feature last December. So it makes sense that Clark has learned to weather frustration from her (rare) off-nights shooting through golf. In that way, Clark's golf game contributes to — even advances — her basketball greatness.
Yet Clark uses the golf course for more than reaching basketball greatness. At the urging of her Hawkeye basketball coaches, Clark takes to golf (as often as four times per week in the summer) as a way to avoid burnout from basketball. Not only does golf force Clark to focus on something other than draining three-pointers, but golf — as so many already know — can produce a meditative, even Zen-like mindset. Clark loves tapping into this.
"You can clear your mind, do something you really love, and have the peace and quiet of just your friends around or even just yourself," Clark said of being on the course. "I love being able to escape reality for a little bit."
Reality is only going to get more hectic for Caitlin Clark. She still has one more season at Iowa before the WNBA Draft; at which point professional basketball — and all the obligations that come with being the star that Caitlin Clark already is — might begin to dominate her life.
One can only hope that whichever team drafts Clark has some nice, secluded golf courses nearby.
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