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Sapp testing her game on Peggy Bell Kirk Tour
South Effingham sophomore Bella Sapp is set to compete in a Peggy Kirk Bell Tournament in Spartanburg, S.C., on Aug. 4.
Bella Sapp is only a sophomore but she’s approaching her golf career like a pro. A starter for the South Effingham, the aspiring college golfer is gearing up for the Peggy Kirk Bell Tour. The tournament in Spartanburg, S.C., on Saturday boasts more than 700 participants each year and, with it being an all-girl tour, it gives young female golfers a platform to showcase their talent. The hotbed for college recruiters is a great way for Sapp to test her skill. “They enable me to go and compete and play against some of the best female golfers around,” Sapp said. “It also gives me the opportunity to be seen by college coaches. On this tour, the time coaches have to be looking for recruits is not split between girls and boys. “College coaches start looking for recruits around your freshman year of high school. The coaches will see how well I perform under pressure and the way I handle myself on the golf course.” The tour has been in existence for 12 years and has helped grow the game tremendously. A non-qualifying tournament, Sapp was introduced to the tour by her father. “My dad attended the (NCAA Division II) National Championship and talked to some of the parents of the girls that were competing,” Sapp said. “You do not have to qualify to be on the tour but you do have to be able to shoot a certain score to be eligible to play.” Sapp also pointed out the hurdles female golfers face in terms of recruitment. Where other sports have larger budgets and rosters, there’s not much room or money for women’s golf at the collegiate level. “If you are a female golfer and you want to go to college to play golf you have to be one of the best around,” Sapp said. (In) basketball, there are thousands of players and tons of colleges looking for basketball players. The difference in female golfers is it is not a college’s main priority to find the best golfer around because golf is not as popular.” Sapp has seven months before the Mustangs take the course again, making this tournament the perfect way to fine tune her game. “I am looking to play different courses to better my course management,” Sapp said. “This tour has some of the best girl golfers in America on it. By playing against the best girl golfers, I am looking to work hard and get to the level where I can be one of the best on this tour.”