Laser-focused over the golf ball, Cameron Fish focuses on putting with just the right amount of momentum to send it down the green.
A hushed tone falls over her teammates as they watch with bated breath. All eyes are on the golf ball as it rolls toward the hole — and it’s a clean shot.
Fish has made a name for herself in Belmont golf. This year, she led the Bruins to a team win at the Butler Invitational Tournament, took a title for herself after a win at the Town and Country Invitational, and she’s made an impression as two-time Ohio Valley Conference Golfer of the Week.
But outside of her reliable performance on the course, her teammates look up to her and see her as not only a leader but a confidante, a friend and an inspiration.
“She is the best kind of teammate,” sophomore golfer Delia Gibbs said. “She’s very encouraging. She’s a good leader and an awesome role model.”
It’s hard to believe that such a seasoned golfer began her career with toy clubs.
“My dad got me plastic clubs when I was 3, and I just started swinging them inside the house,” Fish said.
After moving from Panama City Beach, Florida, from Collierville, Tennessee, Fish started taking private lessons and going to golf camps. She knew from the get-go that golf was her future. At the ripe age of 9, she started competing in tournaments and stepped on the course whenever she could.
Knowing she wanted to take golf seriously, Fish soon upgraded from a Goodwill bag full of mismatched clubs to a spot in an NCAA Division 1 golf team. And the second she stepped on campus for a tour, she knew Belmont was where she was meant to be.
“I love being able to have ‘Belmont Golf’ on my shirt,” Fish said.
In addition to her love for the sport, Fish said golf has taught her vital values like integrity, self-control and determination, which are essential if you want to achieve a level of success in the game and in life.
There are so many aspects of golf that Fish feels drawn to, but one of her favorite parts of the game is the continual learning process, she said.
“Every day, every season, every month, every year, you’re learning something different,” Fish said.
Just like life, Fish said, there is never a point in golf where a player has learned it all. There is always something new to master, and a good coach can teach players how to get better every day they play.
Teaching herself to move forward is another key to success Fish has taken away from golf. In a rough game, it’s important to move on a bad hole to focus on the next one. Living and learning through mistakes can make all the difference in golf, school and life.
Fish hopes that, as a senior member of her team, she can be a lifeline for her teammates, she said. She wants them to know that there is no judgment in Belmont golf and that there is always room for vulnerability. After all, they are a team, and good teammates are there to help each other through tough times.
For Fish, an only child, her younger teammates take on the role of siblings. Fish feels protective of her fellow golfers like an older sister, she said.
And despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year, Fish watched her younger teammates grow into the players they are today and feels proud of their accomplishments, she said.
And it goes both ways; her teammates get to watch her succeed as well.
Fish plans to pursue her master’s at Belmont and use her fifth-year athletics eligibility to compete for another season.
She is not the only one excited about her bonus season — teammates like Gibbs are thrilled to have a dependable and accountable leader with them for another year.
“She’s just kind of the glue that holds the team together,” Gibbs said.
PHOTO: Cameron Fish. Belmont Athletics / John Langdon.
This article was written by Chloe Collins.