Heath emerging as rising star in freshman season

Beatrice Wallin has received much of the attention this season as the ACC women’s golfer of the year. But Florida State’s Charlotte Heath has been consistently good in her freshman season.

Heath has four top-10 finishes in FSU’s six spring tournaments, including a second-place tie in late February in FSU’s home event at the Seminole Legacy Golf Course.

“Charlotte has come in as a freshman and played really, really well,” FSU women’s golf coach Amy Bond said. “She is currently our No. 2 player. She’s had some great finishes throughout the season. Sometimes as a freshman you don’t know what you’re going to get. You don’t know what the adjustment coming from high school to college, transition from being overseas in England to coming over to the U.S. and learning a new culture. She’s really adjusted well. But I’m thrilled with the way she has played this spring.”

Heath and the FSU women’s team will now play at Louisville in an NCAA Regional beginning on Monday. Wallin is one of the main reasons, leading the ACC with a 70.28 stroke average and setting the tone by winning two tournaments and finishing in the top 10 in five of six events. But the Seminoles have also developed depth and Heath’s play has been a major source of optimism about how the team will play in the postseason as well as the future.

A native of Yorkshire, England, Heath grew up playing golf with her dad and grandfather as her early teachers. As she steadily improved, Heath became interested in playing college golf to further develop her game. Heath was used to fighting the wind on courses back home, one of many adjustments when she moved to Florida.

Without the normal fall season due to the pandemic, Heath was able to focus on her game in practice rounds to prepare for the spring. Heath has a 71.82 stroke average this spring.

“I think the golf courses are a lot different compared to home,” Heath said. “The types of grass, never played on Bermuda grass before coming over here. I think for me not having a full season may have benefitted me because I got used to the grass and the courses around here.”

The Seminoles are facing a new challenge with the University of Louisville’s Golf Course. None of the current players have been on the course, but that has often been the case this season.

“They’re seeing all of these golf courses for the first time,” Bond said. “I want the girls to take a lot of time. The good thing is we get a practice round. Playing in the practice round, taking good notes, taking it all in. And really getting a feel for what the golf course has to offer, whether it be speeds of the greens, the different ways you play the golf holes and things like that.”

A year after the pandemic cut short college sports, Bond has kept things in perspective. FSU is playing golf in 2021 and playing deep into May.

“I’m excited that our season is continuing,” Bond said. “We are one of the 72 teams that has an opportunity to compete for a national championship. I’ve been smiling since January because we’re getting to play. A year ago we were sitting at home, twiddling our thumbs.”

The FSU men will host an NCAA Regional beginning May 17.