Grace Durkin: FRCC’s Top Golfer Decides to Play at Loyola in Chicago


Frannie Wied, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Senior Grace Durkin placed in the top 10 in the state for golf and committed to play D1 golf at Loyola University Chicago– all in one week. 

Durkin shot 79 and 76 to place 10th out of almost 80 girls. She says that there are many talented female golfers in the state, and she’s proud of how she did. 

Placing in the top 10 female golfers is an amazing feat accomplishment for anyone, but especially for Durkin, who was unable to walk a year ago. 

I am very proud of how I played, especially considering where I was a year ago, not even being able to play. So to be in the top 10 is really special and something I will always be proud of,” said the senior. 

Durkin was forced to miss the entirety of her junior season due to a back injury that required surgery. She didn’t share the news with many, as she felt that maybe if fewer people knew about it, it would be less of a reality. 

Luckily she was able to have a relatively quick recovery after her surgery due to being so young and in such good physical shape. Even so, she had to work to regain her skills and had to put any golf-related activity on pause until a few months after her surgery. 

“I am so proud of how far I have come and all I have accomplished. This whole process has only made me stronger as a person and a player,” said Durkin. 

She said that the time off allowed her to realize that playing golf in college really was her ultimate goal and that this experience has made her more grateful than ever to be playing this year. She is able to be appreciative of each opportunity to play and is able to embrace every moment. 

“This whole process has only made me stronger as a person and a player. When something like a sport consumes your life, it is really hard to have to give that up temporarily. It really made me realize I am much more than just a golfer,” she explained. 

As if these accomplishments weren’t enough, Durkin was also named the FRCC Golfer of the Year. This accolade is determined by the player with the lowest average out of all the conference meets.  Durkin’s average was 36, which is even par, and she also won six out of the seven meets.  


“I was really honored to have received this and ultimately proud because it was my goal before the season started,” she said. 

Durkin is thrilled to be playing at Loyola University Chicago and she describes the girls on the team as “super nice, driven, and competitive.” The coach that recruited her is relatively new to the school and had a vision for the program that Durkin fell in love with. She’s thrilled to be attending a school that prioritizes growing, not only as a student but as a person. 

Durkin began playing golf at the age of two and started taking lessons in 1st grade, but it was when she started competitive tournaments at the age of 10 that her love of the sport was solidified. Shortly after this, she realized that she wanted to play golf in college. She says that when she plays she is the best version of herself and that she’s grateful for the opportunities golf has given her. 

“The best way I can explain my love for golf is that when I am on the course I am the best version of myself and can put my worries and anxieties aside and just enjoy life,” said Durkin. 

One player that Durkin has always looked up to is Michelle Wie, who began her career at the age of 13 by qualifying for a PGA tour event (that consists of all men) and shooting the lowest score a woman has ever shot in a PGA tour event. She has proven time and time again that golf isn’t just a male’s game and serves as a strong female role model. 

If Durkin could give any advice to students who are looking to play a sport in college, it would be this: “…stay patient, make sure you love the school without the sport, follow your heart, and don’t listen to other people’s opinions.”