JOHNSON CITY — If you’re a golf ball, you don’t want to be on a tee anywhere near Chloe Garner.
“I try to swing for the roof sometimes for sure,” said Garner. It’s fun.”
The ETSU women’s assistant coach can crush a ball, as displayed last week in Nevada. Garner defeated the reigning World Long Drive Champion, Phillis Meti, to win the World Long Drive Clash in the Canyon title with a drive of 342 yards. It was a bit of redemption for Garner, who fell to Meti in the World Long Drive Championship in 2016.
“It’s been amazing,” said Garner. “There’s been a lot of hype, a lot of support from a lot of people and it’s been trying to manage that and not get too carried away and ahead of myself.”
Garner is at the top of her sport. But a few years ago, this moment looked like it may never happen, as the former Buccaneer stepped as far away from the greens as she could.
“I lost confidence in myself as a player and if you do that in golf, you’re just kind of dead from there,” Garner said. “I didn’t touch my clubs for like three years.”
But a trip to Crossfit Johnson City changed her outlook.
“I feel really heavily into crossfit and I started training in there,” said Garner. “The time I wasn’t spending golfing was now being put into crossfit. I thought, ‘I wonder with this increased strength that I have, what can I do?’ So it was nice to get away from golf for a little bit and kind of get that drive back.”
Now that drive has now turned her into one of the best long drivers in the sport in just two years.
“The fact it happened so quickly, I mean, I feel very lucky for that,” Garner said. “There’s not normally that instant gratification.”
Garner has two more World Long Drive Competitions this year, competing in the Mile High Showdown in Denver in July and the World Long Drive Championship in Oklahoma in September. Both competitions will be broadcast on the Golf Channel.