EDMOND — A unique sister act is coming to a close at the University of Central Oklahoma for golf team members Erica, Lindsey and Katie Bensch.
Not only have they been a big part of the Broncho women’s golf team, but each is using her education to pursue a career in the school’s golf management program.
The Broken Arrow sisters are looking forward to the future although life will be entering a new stage as distance and jobs will separate them. Oldest sister Erica soon will become an assistant at King’s Creek Country Club in Rehoboth Beach, Del.
To this point in life, the three have been extremely close. They were home-schooled before earning golf scholarships to UCO.
Erica started UCO originally wanting to major in nursing. But after UCO added golf management, her career choice became clear. Later, her sisters decided they also wanted to excel in the golf industry.
In December, Erica graduated and looked back on what she had learned.
“They train you in just about everything, from how to manage a course, to giving golf lessons and running tournaments,” she said. The curriculum also covers budgeting and course maintenance.
Lindsey and Katie will graduate in 2015.
Bob Phelps, director of the PGA Golf Management Program, commented on his unusual students.
“Erica, Lindsey and Katie have been outstanding students,” he said. “Hopefully their success will prove to other high school females with a passion for golf that a career in golf is possible and that the UCO PGA Golf Management Program provides a rewarding experience that prepares students for success.”
Regardless of what the sisters do in life, they will be remembered at UCO for an incident in November 2010 at Edmond’s KickingBird Golf Course. Erica, in a qualifying round, had a hole-in-one on the par 3 third hole. Erica was abuzz over that and had a feat not accomplished by Lindsey.
“That only lasted a few hours,” Erica recalled. That’s when Lindsey amazingly recorded her ace on the par 3 11th hole. And to add to already an amazing coincidence, the sisters were positioned in nearby greens where they could see the other’s ace.
“I remember that,” Erica said. “The ball nailed the pin and dropped in.”
That’s one of many stories the golfers share.
“I remember seeing a coyote race across a fairway in California,” Erica said. “All the other girls were saying ‘Ah, look at the dog.’ I told them, that’s no dog!”
Soon, they won’t have that bird’s-eye view of each other and will be thousands of miles apart.
In addition to Erica’s pending move to Delaware, Katie and Lindsey will have summer internships. From May to August, Katie (who, by the way, scored a hole-in-one in Tulsa) will be at the PGA headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Lindsey gets to learn all about running PGA junior golf tournaments. She’ll be a part of them in 10 states.
“That’s the first thing they asked me, is how I felt about living out of a suitcase,” Lindsey said.
Each Bensch sister is hoping for a long career in golf management.
“UCO is one of only a handful of schools to offer golf management,” Erica said. “We’ve learned so much.”