Frank Crimp knew the moment his daughter Kathryn picked up a golf club, she possessed innate skills.

She gripped it the right way, swung it rhythmically and had affinity for the game at a young age, too.

“She started swinging the club when she was 3 or 4 years old, and I always remember her grabbing a plastic club and she swung it left handed and I said, ‘We got a south paw on our hands,’” Frank said.

“… You can’t teach a person to like the game — she just liked it immediately.”

Kathryn, a Ellensburg High School senior golfer, grew up on the golf course. Her father and uncle (Keith Crimp) — both accomplished golfers — have been owners of the Ellensburg Golf and Country Club since 1985 and it would be startling if there was a day Katherine wasn’t out there — weather permitting of course.

When Kathryn was a kid, she remembers riding along on the golf cart with her parents and after they hit their drives, she would drop her ball near where theirs' landed and play from there.

She knows about every bump and slope on the course, what club to hit off the tee, spots to avoid, etc.

With her mother working at the club restaurant and father in the pro shop, Kathryn and her brother would be there nearly everyday. There isn't a member she doesn't recognize.

“We come out here every single day really,” Kathryn said. “In the summer, if you ask me where I am at, it’s the golf course, no where else. It’s my second home — feels like we live here.”

Kathryn started getting into tournaments when she was 10. It only took her a year to earn hardware in the Washington State Golf Association. She took home the District 4 Championship in ages 8-11 by two strokes at Suncadia Golf Resort.

Kathryn was cognizant it was time to put in the hours once she got into competitive golf.

“Since then, it’s been every summer just practicing and practicing,” she said. “It got really serious once high school started because I knew I was going to be part of a team and I wanted to be good enough for the team, make it to state, do all that.”

The transition to high school golf was seamless. In her three seasons with the program, Kathryn has qualified and made the cut in every state tournament. Her best finish was last year, placing ninth with a total score of 171. Her sophomore and freshman seasons she placed in the top 20.

Kathryn was second in the district championship as a junior, but she’s hoping to win it this time around — and place higher at state.

“I was one away from medaling — literally one shot away,” Kathryn said. “Obviously if I could win state that would be great. But we’ll see where my game's at. I know that I definitely have the potential and I can do it, it's just a matter of having two really good rounds.”

Kathryn didn't hit it the farthest off the tee box in her early days, so the crux was to be unerring with the short game. Kathryn emulates Lydia Ko because she isn't the longest hitter on the LPGA Tour, but 100 yards and in, she's precise.

As Kathryn got older, she gained more yards. And this past offseason, Kathryn focused on getting into the gym, joining the strength and conditioning class to put on a few pounds.

"She probably wasn't as physically strong as some of the other girls her age when she first started, so she was giving up quite a bit of distance," Frank said. "But now she's gaining the distance, so she knew that would come. It's just a little more late developing in that area, but she can move it out there with most the gals now."

When it comes to the mechanics, Frank says often he doesn't even need to tell Kathryn what errors there are in her swing. He will occasionally take a look and chat with her after she plays a round, but more often than not, Kathryn has it dialed down.

Frank says her timing and rhythm are so good that those changes are minimal if there are any.

"She picks things up herself now a lot and she knows a lot about the game," he said. "She doesn't need to even ask me about how to correct something."

Kathryn had offers from St. Martin's University, Whitworth University and Whitman University. There was interest from Western Washington University and University of Arizona, too.

She chose to sign with St. Martin's.

"I'm just real excited to play on a college golf team and just continuing my career because I love golf — can't imagine my life without it," Kathryn said.

Frank and the family are elated to see her move up take this next step.

"It's very exciting and rewarding to see my daughter improve the way she has over all these years," Frank said. "Looking forward to a good year of golf her senior year at high school."


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