Following through her swing from the tee box, Mariana Garcia-Rosette keeps a close eye on the ball as it soars into the fairway. Golf requires almost perfect precision with each shot, proving the need for focus. Photo Courtesy of Michael Lund.

Player Spotlight: Mariana Garcia Rosette

Inside the mind of a golfer

Often viewed as a serene sport, golf harbors a world of mental trials and isolation which hides within the trees sprawling throughout the meticulously-groomed acres of green. Entering her final year of collegiate golf, Portland State senior Mariana Garcia Rosette reflected on how she took on these challenges, as well as her aspirations for this upcoming season.


“It feels a bit bittersweet, but I’m looking to help the new girls and our other returners as much as I can [by] creating team bonding experiences, making sure we challenge each other while offering unwavering support on and off the course,” Garcia Rosette said.


Despite its individualistic nature, golf thrives on the camaraderie which underpins most team sports. “Being part of a collegiate sport is about building that team environment and building that sisterhood,” said Garcia Rosette.


The PSU women’s golf team goes beyond the fairways, engaging in activities such as homework sessions, baking and seasonal celebrations to foster off-course connections and unity.


Navigating the dual responsibilities of guiding her game and nurturing team spirit, Garcia Rosette acknowledged her role as a senior leader. “Being named team captain is a big responsibility,” she said. “It’s just fun to help these girls navigate their college careers.”


She serves as a bridge between individual pursuits and team goals, fostering a sense of camaraderie and support which transcends golf’s solitary nature.


However, golf’s challenges extend beyond team dynamics. The solitude intrinsic to the game presents a profound mental challenge. “A lot of mental work goes into it,” Garcia Rosette said. “Golf is a lot about how you approach it and staying present and moving on after a bad shot or a good one.”


Indeed, golfers like Garcia Rosette confront the physical demands and the mental fortitude required for excellence. Personal goals stretch beyond scores and statistics, encompassing relentless improvement on and off the course.


“Honestly, the biggest goal is just to have fun,” Garcia Rosette said. “Just hoping that giving it my all—on and off the course—will get us closer to winning and inspire the other girls to do the same.”


Beyond Garcia Rosette’s insights, the mental rigors of golf have garnered attention in the sporting world. “The fact is that golf, played to the best of one’s ability, requires intense concentration,” stated a Golf Digest article, emphasizing the sport’s unique challenges.

Mariana Garcia-Rosette poses for her senior headshot. For her senior year, she joins Tannica Porter as co-captains of the team. Photo Courtesy of Michael Lund.

GolfNews delved into the mental aspects as well. “Developing mental resilience is essential for golfers who want to perform at their best consistently,” the article stated. “It involves cultivating strategies and techniques that help players overcome challenges and setbacks, both on and off the course.”


The New York Times also stressed the mental fortitude required for golf. “Psychologically, golf may be the most fragile sport of all,” the NYT article state. “It’s certainly the most frustrating. In baseball, a batter can be fooled by a crackling curveball. But a golf ball just sits there until a golfer hits it. And if that ball is hit improperly, the golfer cannot blame anybody else. What you hit is what you get.”


Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Garcia Rosette is eager to help the team build on last season’s performance. “Having a coach change can be difficult, but I think Coach Winter has done a great job recruiting some players, and this year, we have some strong freshmen coming in,” she said. “I know everyone has put a lot of hard work into practice and being motivated and engaged with the team.”

Head Coach Bill Winters poses for his headshot. Entering his third season as coach, Winters is hoping to building off the momentum of improvement from last year. Photo Courtesy of Michael Lund.


One notable event on the horizon is the Big Sky 54 tournament, celebrating Title IX’s anniversary. Garcia Rosette views this as an excellent opportunity to promote women in sports and is excited about the team’s participation.


“I think the addition of that tournament to celebrate Title IX’s anniversary is great,” she said. “I mean, it’s something that we’ve never done before, and it promotes women in sports. I think it’s a great event for everyone, but I think our team is very excited to participate in it.”


Garcia Rosette has improved her average stroke count significantly, crediting mental work and a change in mindset. “I think some of the key lessons that I’ve learned is to stay in the moment,” she said. “It can get really easy to build on the past or focus too much on what’s ahead of you, but engulfing yourself outside of it and just making sure that I’m enjoying what I’m doing and being grateful for what I have in the moment is really important.” She focuses on staying present and positive on the golf course, relying on techniques like breathing exercises and daily affirmations.


As a senior and co-captain alongside junior Tannica Porter, Garcia Rosette embraced her leadership role by offering guidance and support to the newer players. She has learned to cherish the present moment, a lesson she believes will be crucial for this season’s performance. “Before I go on the course, I just remind myself why I do this and what I’m grateful for that morning,” Garcia Rosette said.

Garcia Rosette’s journey through collegiate golf reveals the sport’s unique blend of challenges and rewards. As the team embarks on a new season, Mariana’s leadership and determination will undoubtedly play a role in their pursuit of success on and off the course.