Sweet Swing

Lake Norman Charter’s Ports crushing school golf record

by Cliff Mehrtens

It’s easy to find Maegan Ports on a Lake Norman Charter golf scorecard.
Scroll to the top.
The Knights have played three matches this season, and she’s recorded their lowest score in each.
In eight team tournaments last year, Ports was low scorer eight times.
“She’s basically set the school record every time she tees it up,” Lake Norman Charter coach Greg Murphy said. “She’s very, very consistent.”
Ports, a junior, also is improving.
Last year, her best score was a nine-hole 44. This season, she’s shot 43, 40 and 41.
“I played a lot over the summer, trying to get my swing better,” Ports said. “I’m trying to break 40. That is my goal.”
Ports said her game improved with a heavy summer practice schedule at Highland Creek Golf Club, where her family lives on the 18th green. It’s one thing to aspire to get better, but another to hit the course in the searing summer heat.
But Ports was dutifully there, about every other day.
“I wanted to improve on hitting it farther,” she said. “My drives are accurate, they just don’t go as far as I want, so I have to make up for it in the short game. So my short game is pretty good right now.”
Murphy said Ports’ drives should lengthen as she grows physically, and with technique and conditioning improvements. The rest of her game is quite solid.
Ports set the school home-match record with a 43 on Sept. 8 at River Run Country Club in Davidson. Four days later, she carded a school-record 40 in a Southern Piedmont 1A/2A meet.
Both times, she was the tournament individual medalist.
Last season, Ports qualified for the regional tournament as a sophomore. She then missed qualifying for the state tournament by one stroke.
“Since that time, she’s worked very hard on her game,” Murphy said. “She has been working on improving her fundamentals, and as a consequence, she’s a very consistent ball striker. She doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and has a pretty good short game. She’s capable of shooting in the 30s.”
Ports doesn’t linger on last year’s regional, where she started fast but ran into trouble after a 90-minute rain delay. She scored a disastrous 9 on a hole, in what Murphy called “a good teaching moment.”
“Even though she was our best player last year, she was more susceptible to letting a bad shot affect her on the next hole,” he said. “She’s really improved her mental toughness.”
Murphy said his top goal is teaching players to make good decisions on the course.
“And to be mentally strong because everyone hits bad shots,” he said. “The best players in the world hit bad shots. The good players are the ones that are resilient enough to overcome that.”
Ports’ goal is to reach the state tournament this year. She’d also like to help an improving Lake Norman Charter team qualify for the event.
The Knights players elected Ports team captain for the second year in a row. She takes the role seriously, as well as improving her golf game.
“I want to take each match, learn the course and don’t get ahead of myself too much thinking I’m going to be the best,” Ports said.
In many cases, she already is.

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