Rowland Hall fifth grader Arden Louchheim is wise beyond her years, and you'd never guess the humble pre-teen is ranked internationally in her sport. We sat down with Arden to talk about her last 15 months as the number one golfer in her age group in Utah. As we spoke, she was both energetic and poised—the exact combination needed for competing under pressure. She recounted her favorite moments in golf, her successes and challenges, and what golf has taught her.
Arden discovered golf at the young age of three. Her family lived near the first hole of a golf course and hit balls together as a family. Arden did not want to be left out of the fun and still recalls the feeling the first time she gripped a club. She soon began to daydream of someday playing on the LPGA Tour. While many kids dream big, Arden's goal and idols are very specific—to play in the LPGA Tour like Lexi Thompson or Michelle Wie.
In 2014, Arden saw a documentary titled The Short Game. The movie follows the best seven-year-old golfers in the world competing at the US Kids World Championships in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Before she saw the film, Arden had never competed in a golf tournament. The images on the screen changed Arden’s daydream into a passion and she vowed to make it to Pinehurst the following year. And she did exactly that, finishing 29th in the world in her age division in August 2015.
In July 2015, Arden had the honor of representing Utah at the IMG Junior World Championships, the most prestigious tournament in international junior golf. She earned the privilege of playing there after winning the qualifying tournament in a dramatic playoff. She was the only 10-year-old girl from Utah to qualify and she finished 46th among the world’s best junior players.
When recounting her favorite part of playing golf, Arden says she loves the competition. She likes a close tournament, one where she and an opponent are head to head, and it all comes down to the last putt. In addition to her intrinsic dedication to the sport, Arden possesses a calm under pressure. In fact, she says pressure even energizes her. She loves knowing that her family and friends are watching and believing in her. She says it helps her stay focused while putting her best foot forward.
When asked what golf has taught her, she replies, “This is an honorable sport. There are no referees and no one watching to make sure you follow the rules. One time, I accidentally touched the ball, and I was the one to call myself out. I knew it would be a two-stroke penalty, but it was the right thing to do. Golf teaches me things like this that will help me in life. “
At Rowland Hall, the teachers and students talk about a growth mindset in and out of the classroom. Simply put, a growth mindset is having the belief that skills and abilities are not set, but that they can be developed through dedication and hard work. Arden applies this concept to her golf game and says that a growth mindset is imperative on the course. “If I make a mistake, I learn from it and move on. I can’t dwell on it, and I can’t let it define me. My mistakes help me grow.”
Arden plays other sports too. She is an alpine ski racer for Rowmark as well as a dedicated softball player. When asked about her future in golf, she becomes serious and says, “I want to be the first woman to qualify for the Masters.” And if the past is any indication of the future, there is no reason to doubt she will make this goal a reality.