Shoulder injuries fail to slow down Hines' golf family tradition


Three Rivers Junior Holly Hines poses for a picture on April 8 at the Central Michigan University Golf Facility.

Holly Hines comes from a long line of golfers.

Despite two injuries to her left shoulder during her time at Central Michigan, the redshirt junior carries her family tradition of finding joy and success on the course.

“Golf is pretty big in my family,” Hines said. “My great grandpa played until he was no longer capable to play and my dad played at Olivet Nazareth."

The Three Rivers native's connections to golf didn't stop there.

"I would join my mom and grandma occasionally in women’s leagues and my sister Heidi just started golfing this past summer.”

Hines was off to a great start during the fall season, shooting a career best 74 at the Ball State Cardinal Classic in September. Things were going great until a shoulder injury held her out of the final round of the Kalamazoo Classic. She worked with athletic trainer Greg McGilvary to get everything back in line.

“Greg and I did a lot of cupping,” Hines said. “(Cupping) immediately had a huge impact.” 

Cupping is a process where a cup is placed on the skin, is hooked to a pump to create suction and sticks to the the skin to lift it, easing circulation in the affected area. 

The injury wasn’t the first time Hines had issues with her shoulder. Hines tore her labrum and rotator cuff her freshman year at a tournament at Michigan State. One par 3 changed the rest of her season.

“I decided to use my four iron,” Hines said. “I took the club (into my) back (swing) and completely dislocated my shoulder, I was on hole 12 of the 36 for that day. I put it back in, played the rest of the 36 and played 18 the next day, then decided I was done.”

Hines knew recovering from the shoulder injury between the fall and spring season this year would take time to get back into full swing.

"It's been a long road," Hines said. "Last year I felt things were still off even though I was better. This summer things were still off, I was sick of being in pain, I didn't want to play anymore."

Hines did not compete in the opening Mid-American Conference Match Play Challenge in February. Hines scored a 90 during the first round at the Rio Verde Invitational, but has lowered her average to 83 for 18 holes, with an 84 being her highest score since the Rio Verde tournament, scoring as low as a three-over 75 at the John Kirk Panther Intercollegiate.

"I wanted to quit this summer," Hines said. "Now my game is on. My dad told me 'remember why you fell in love with the sport, try and get back to the golfer we once knew."

Hines interest in golf was sparked early on, starting with her great grandfather

“My great grandpa use to take me out when I was really little, I would carry around plastic clubs,” Hines said. “Then my dad said ‘well, let’s try golf’, so I started hitting the golf ball and I was actually kind of good. I picked up after that, didn’t get serious about it until around my freshman year of high school.”

Hines found great success in high school at Three Rivers. She was first team All-State her senior year, as well as a two time Academic All-State. Hines averaged a team best 39.6 per 9 holes her senior season.

Hines wanted to stay close to home, and Central Michigan was the right fit in her mind.

“(CMU) is close to home -- 2 hours 15 minutes away from my house,” Hines said. “I like the location and the community. I had this feeling that this was where I needed to go.

Junior Kristen Wolfe describes Hines as someone who is always focused but at the same time has good qualities off the course.

“She’s a good teammate by being very nice and very driven," Wolfe said. "I think were a small enough team where I can talk to anyone, we spend so much time together and we get to know each other, so I would say that I could go to her for advice."

Junior Natalie Johnson, who is also teammates with Hines, said that her personality leans more towards the outgoing type.

“(Hines) is a good teammate and a social butterfly,” said Junior Natalie Johnson. “She talks a lot, and is very funny, I think we all just gel together well as teammates.”

Head Coach Cheryl Stacy describes Hines as someone who will speak up on the team, while using her own kind of humor to do so.

"She is definitely more of a vocal leader and is very outgoing with a bubbly personality," Stacy said of redshirt junior. "She is pretty funny, people usually laugh at her, which keeps them entertained."

In her free time Hines keeps up with a passion for music, which goes back to before she started to attend CMU and she takes that into her pre-match warmup routine.  

“I was in choir when I was in high school so I try to keep up with that and I keep my guitar here as well," Hines said. “I like to listen to spiritual types of songs, I have a playlist of Christian music that I listen to to prepare for the round and relax me. I don’t like to get super pumped before a round, just relaxed.”