Reprint of an article in The Times Herald by Jordan Climie, August 14, 2012
Don’t tell Dominique Molinaro she can’t do anything.
Less than two years after major brain surgery, the Port Huron Northern golfer is heading into her senior season after winning five tournaments this summer in the Blue Water Junior Golf Association. “I had to re-learn the whole sport,” Molinaro said.
But this summer, surgery was the last thing on her mind as she finished the junior golf season shooting 88 at Scalawags Golf Club to win the Tournament of Champions. For her efforts, Molinaro is the Times Herald Athlete of the Week.
“It was really fun and a lot of pressure,” she said. “It made me feel good about myself.
“(The Blue Water Junior Golf Association) is pretty important, it gets me ready for the season, gets my nerves out on time.”
For Mary Ann Easton, girls varsity golf coach at Port Huron Northern, any of her players competing in the summer golf leagues is important.
“I think that playing in those tournaments through the summer just keeps you in the game, keeps you in the tournament mind frame,” she said. “You have to take it down to that last hole. It gets you mentally tough; it helps that part of the game.”
Easton will be counting on Molinaro this year.
“She’s definitely going to be one of the top players on the team,” she said. “ She’s a good example for the younger girls, always taking her lessons and practicing.
“Dominique is one of those players that is so dedicated to the game, as a coach you don’t have to do a whole lot.”
The focus of Molinaro’s game is not so much on her physical play, but the mental aspect of golf.
“You have to have good confidence to get your game going,” she said. “Ninety percent of the game is confidence; it’s all in your head.”
Molinaro will look to use that confidence in her final high school season. “My goal is just to be shooting low and get a scholarship.”
Her coach believes both are possible.
“I have no doubt she has the ability to go on and play college golf,” Easton said. “She’s put a lot of time on her game. She’s a hard worker.”
For this season, Molinaro has high hopes for the team.
“I want us to go to states and get in the top three and see my team do good,” she said.