For as long as Kiselya Plewe can remember, golf has been an integral part of her life. As a child, she honed her putting stroke on Conquistador Golf Course’s practice greens, and as a teenager, she starred for Dolores High School’s team.
Now finished with her second year at Weber State University, Plewe will hang up her clubs for the first time in more than a decade while she serves an 18-month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Clearly excited to serve her church, while perhaps slightly nervous to temporarily give up the sport that she loves, Plewe recently spoke with The Journal about her first two collegiate seasons and her faith.
Following are highlights of an intriguing conversation with one of Montezuma County’s most successful athletes in recent years.
Two successful college seasons Entering her first season of golf at Weber State University last year, Plewe knew that competition would be tough and expectations would be high. Even so, she was excited by the opportunity to compete at the college level.
“I’ve always wanted to play Division I golf,” Plewe said, after signing her letter of intent. “It has always been a dream of mine. The girls and the coach at (Weber State) are awesome, and I really like the environment there....”
Unlike many first-year players, who take time to adapt to college play, Plewe hit the course running and became an immediate contributor on Weber State’s team, which is in the Big Sky Conference.
In her first college tournament, the Hobble Creek Fall Classic in Springerville, Utah, in 2016, Plewe shot a three-round score of 228 and tied for 24th place. Later in the season, Plewe tied for 18th with a three-round 225 at the Pat Lesser Harbottle Invitational in Tacoma, Washington, but the rest of her season was cut short by a shoulder injury.
After spending nearly a year rehabilitating her shoulder, Plewe returned to the course in fall 2017 and registered five Top 10 finishes, including first place at the New Mexico State Aggie Invitational that came as a result of three consecutive 1-under par rounds of 71.
“It feels great to win,” Plewe said afterward. “I feel like (getting a win) is a rare thing in college golf, and I’m thrilled to have (a victory).”
After completing the fall portion of her second season, Plewe returned to the course this spring and finished fifth at the Red Rocks Invitational in Sedona, Arizona. The spring season did not end well for her, however, as the red-shirt freshman struggled at the Bobcat Spring Invitational in Goodyear, Arizona, and finished 29th at the Big Sky Championship in Boulder City, Nevada.
“I think in the fall, I had everything firing,” Plewe said. “My putting was on, and my chipping was very strong. I kind of lost focus on my short game and focused too much on other things, and when I tried to get my short game back at the end of the season, it just wasn’t clicking. It’s kind of frustrating, but you have to roll with the punches. That’s golf.”
Despite finishing her second season in what she termed as “disappointing” fashion, Plewe spoke glowingly about her college experience and her team.
“(Playing in college) has added a whole new element to the game of golf,” Plewe said. “You’re out there with great players every time that you go out (on the course), and you make great friends. My teammates are awesome, and the whole experience is awesome.”
A focus on faithWhile golf has been a focus for Plewe, the college golf standout has balanced her athletic obligations with an undying dedication to her faith.
As a means of continuing that dedication, Plewe now plans to step away from golf for 18 months to complete a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Plewe will begin her mission in Mexico in early June with an immersion in Spanish language classes. She will then travel to Seattle, where she will reside for roughly 1½ years.
“I’m excited about just being able to put my whole heart into our church and what I love,” Plewe said. “I’m excited to learn a lot about myself and also help others.”
Although Plewe can’t practice golf during her mission, she will rejoin Weber State’s golf team in spring 2020, with three years of eligibility.
“An 18-month break is a long time, and it’s going to take a while for me to get back,” Plewe said. “I’m going to have to put a lot of work in to get back into the swing of things.”
Individuals interested in learning about Plewe’s mission, and possibly her experiences as a college golfer, are invited to attend her talk on May 27 at 11 a.m. The talk will be given at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1700 E. Empire St.