SE: Gravel-Coursol Making Strides in Junior Season

Katherine Gravel-Coursol doesn’t remember a time when the game of golf wasn’t a part of her life. A junior on the Wildcat women’s golf team, Gravel-Coursol’s grandparents owned a golf course in her hometown of Mirabel, Quebec, so growing up, she spent plenty of time on the course in Canada. 

“I’ve been playing my whole life,” Gravel-Coursol said with a smile. “My grandparents were training me from very young age. My whole family plays golf; we really bond through it. I still talk about it with my grandparents all the time.” 

So it should come as no surprise that, just recently, after Gravel-Coursol hit her first ever hole in one in the second round of the Westbrook Invitational in Peoria, Arizona, on Feb. 22, her mom was quick to text her and her grandparents weren’t far behind with a phone call. 

“My mom was following it on the internet and she texted me to ask if it was real,” Gravel-Coursol laughed. “So I told her, yes, it really happened. I didn’t get to call her until after (the tournament), then it was my main conversation for the entire week. My grandparents called me about it, my mom called me about it; they forgot about the fact that it was my best college round. It was all about the hole in one, but it’s great because it’s a unique moment that all golfers dream to have.” 

The hole in one was icing on the cake for Gravel-Coursol, who shot a 54-hole career-best score of 3-under par 213 and finished the tournament in eighth place, helping her team to a third-place finish. It marked her second career top-10 finish and tied for the fifth-lowest score in school history. 

“Her short game and her ball striking have both improved,” said Wildcat head coach Kristi Knight on how far Gravel-Coursol has grown in her time at K-State. “She’s really become a good chipper. From last season to this season, off the tee she’s a much better driver of the golf ball, and that sets the tone for everything. When you drive the ball well, it creates opportunities.” 

In her three years at K-State, Gravel-Coursol has continued to earn better and better scores on the course. Along with her exciting performance at the Westbrook Invitational, she opened the spring season shooting a team-best 18-hole score of 3-under par 69 at the Florida State Match-Up on Feb. 14. Gravel-Coursol is recording a career-best 75.25 stroke average this season. 

“Everyone believes in me, even when sometimes I’m not believing in myself,” explained Gravel-Coursol. “Through all the work, I’ve just grown so much. I always thought I could play good rounds, but you don’t really know until you make it happen, and everyone – my teammates, coaches – they all helped me make it happen.” 

While she’s been working hard to excel on the golf course, Gravel-Coursol brings that same energy to the classroom. Coming from French-speaking Quebec, she hasn’t let the fact that English is her second language get in the way of her studies. Learning and studying in a new language wasn’t easy to get used to in the beginning, but by now, she’s a pro. 

Majoring in advertising with a minor in horticulture, Gravel-Coursol said she chose to study areas that that fit her interests and personality. 

“They’re really very different!” she said as she let out a laugh when asked about studying both advertising and horticulture. “Advertising is something that fits me. I’m very creative, so it fits me very well. I like structure, but at the same time, I like being free; advertising is very good for that. Then with horticulture, I like looking at flowers and plants, it’s just something I’ve always really liked. Horticulture was always something in the back of my mind, so I just thought, ‘Why not?’” 

Through her horticulture minor, Gravel-Coursol currently spends much of her time at the K-State greenhouses growing cucumbers, tulip bulbs and snake plants among many, many other things. She said she really enjoys spending time keeping up with her plants and watching them grow. 

“I went to check them out this morning and we have some new roots,” she laughed. “It’s great!” 

In everything she does, whether it’s on or off the golf course, Gravel-Coursol brings passion, commitment and a great work ethic. 

And it’s all thanks to the lessons she’s learned through the game of golf. 

“The game of golf brought me here and let me study here, but it also has let me get to know other people and make great friends,” said Gravel-Coursol. “But most of all, it’s helped me learn about myself because golf is all about overcoming adversity. You can relate anything to golf because what you learn on the golf course can be applied it in the classroom, with your family, with anything. Golf relates to everything.”

Up next for Gravel-Coursol and the K-State women’s golf team is a trip to Tucson, Arizona, for a spring break trip before the 2016 MountainView Collegiate at MountainView Golf Club. 

The team left for Arizona yesterday afternoon and will spend today playing a few rounds of golf before heading to the LPGA’s Tucson Conquistadores Classic practice round tomorrow. 

“The LPGA practice round will be a good opportunity for them to kind of put their clubs up, watch and be spectators while also having the opportunity to watch people who are doing what they’re aspiring to do,” said Knight. “Then Wednesday afternoon we’ll start getting down to business. We’ll have a normal practice on Wednesday, and Thursday will be the tournament’s practice round.” 

The K-State and Missouri co-hosted MountainView Collegiate is made up of a field of 15 teams (K-State, Missouri, Iowa State, Ohio State, Purdue, UTSA, Texas State, Georgia, Minnesota, Wyoming, Kennesaw State, Middle Tennessee, Colorado State, New Mexico State and San Jose State) and tees off on Friday at 12:30 p.m. 

“It’s a great event,” continued Knight. “We co-host it with Missouri, and it’s an event that we’re both very proud of. We have a great field; it’s a popular tournament. The residents of that community are very supportive of the event. We’re proud to co-host it.” 

With solid recent performances from Gravel-Coursol, K-State women’s golf is off to a strong start this spring and hopes to continue that success this week in Arizona. 

“I feel good about my game right now,” said Gravel-Coursol. “I think the work I’ve put in the last few years is finally coming together, so it’s been good to see that happen. I’ve taken all the positives from the last few tournaments and now I’m trying to work on my weaknesses and build on my strengths and bring that into the rest of the season.” 

For more information on the K-State women’s golf team, please click here