AOI: Eliza Dana ’22 Leads Girls Varsity Golf by Example

Eliza Dana ’22 tees off at a competition.

Eliza Dana ’22 is a four-year Senior and co-captain of the Girls Varsity Golf team. In the spring of 2019 and Dana’s first year on the team, the Girls Varsity Golf team earned the Founders League title. Teammate Petal Hammam ’25 said, “Eliza has a lot of energy and is an amazing golfer. She guides us, makes us laugh, and has a determination to succeed.”

How has your experience been with the team these past 3 years?

When I first joined the team my Prep year, the girls were so welcoming and they helped me adjust to life at boarding school. It was great to meet older girls and become a member of a team that is so caring and loving. Covid derailed the golf season during my Lower Mid and Upper Mid years so it wasn’t exactly the same, but I want to carry on the same experience from my Prep year to this season.

What are your goals for the upcoming season?

This season, one of our main goals is to grow as individual players and maintain a fun and supportive team culture. We don’t necessarily have a set number of goals for our place in the Founders League. We are more focused on improving our game and being the best players we can be.

Who has inspired you during your time on the golf team?

Daphne Chao ’20 was a great inspiration to me because she is a really great player with an even better work ethic. In my Prep-Year during the Pippy O’Connor Tournament, Chao was in a playoff to win the tournament. Even though she lost the playoff, she bounced back with an even more determined attitude that was infectious in practice. She was a mentor on and off the course who inspired team bonding through her humor and kindness.

What is your favorite part about golf?

One of my favorite parts about golf is the importance of the mental aspect to a player’s success. Some players are very skilled physically, but mentally they struggle. Personally, I love the intense focus on various parts of my game. Also, in tournaments you play against the same people and I’ve often become friends with golfers that I’ve played with multiple times. The community of girls you’ll meet at tournaments is amazing because despite competing against each other, everybody is so welcoming.

What advice would you give to future or current golfers?

You can’t change your last shot, so thinking about how to approach the next shot will help improve your scores. Also, play smart. You don’t have to take your driver off of every tee or go for every pin because often, a less aggressive tactic will pay off more in the end.

Can you share a favorite memory at Hotchkiss Golf?

One favorite memory is winning the Founders League championship my Prep Year. We were the underdogs of the season and didn’t think we had a chance, but Lily Yang ’21 made a double-breaking forty-five foot putt on the last hole for a birdie, putting us in first place by one stroke. Another favorite memory was the first time we got off campus as a team last year to play against Choate. We were all so excited to compete for the first time since 2019.