Renee Skidmore won plenty of honors and accolades as a golfer at Cascade High School, and nothing has changed in the two years since she left Everett to attend the University of Idaho.
Skidmore, a 2004 Cascade graduate, won two prestigious tournaments in 2005. The first came in April at the Big West Conference championship, where the Vandals freshman coasted to a five-shot victory with a 2-under-par total of 214 at Tijeras Creek Golf Club in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
Two months later, Skidmore tacked on a win at the Washington State Golf Association’s Women’s Amateur Championship at Whispering Firs Golf Course at McChord Air Force Base outside of Tacoma. That tournament was even more one-sided, with Skidmore breezing to a nine-stroke victory with a 2-under total of 217.
“I feel like I’m actually getting stronger and stronger each year,” said the 20-year-old Skidmore. “I started weightlifting in college last year and I feel like that’s complemented my game. It’s made me stronger and therefore I’m hitting the ball further.
“I also feel like I’ve become more polished as a golfer over the past year. I’m getting more experience from playing in college tournaments and I’m getting better at handling myself out on the golf course. I don’t feel like I’ve changed anything drastically. I just feel like I’m hitting more solid shots more consistently.”
Skidmore was 1 when she first had a golf club in her hand – one of those plastic Fisher-Price sets designed for small children. Later, her father provided her with a sawed-down 7-iron to swing, and by age 10 she had played in her first competitive tournament.
Honing her game on Everett courses – usually Everett Golf and Country Club, where she had a junior membership, and Walter Hall Golf Course, where Cascade played its home matches – Skidmore blossomed into one of the best female golfers not only in Snohomish County, but in all of Washington.
Her successes have continued this year. Already she has been named Western Athletic Conference Golfer of the Year (Idaho changed leagues last fall), as voted by conference coaches.
In the future, Skidmore has interest in playing professionally, but says her “No. 1 priority is to get through school first.” After completing a degree in business marketing, she may take a crack at the LPGA Tour or she may shift her energies to golf instruction (perhaps at her own teaching facility) or she may find some other avenue that allows her to stay involved with her sport.
Whatever that turns out to be, she said, “I see golf being in my future, no matter what.”