Twins tee off for different UWs

Sean Maloney

Laura and Stephanie Stair are not only competitors playing golf for rival Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schools–they are twin sisters who were both named Second Team All-WIAC for their performances this fall. After attending Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa together their freshman year, the sisters decided to split and transfer to different schools. Laura chose UW Oshkosh while Stephanie attends UW-Whitewater. Both girls started golfing at a young age, and Laura said being surrounded by the sport the majority of their young lives helped drive their passions. “We grew up on a golf course with a family who golfed,” Laura said. “We probably started at the same time. Being twins, we pretty much did everything together whether it was sports, friends or school.” Stephanie said it took some time for both of them to become interested. “My parents are the reason we became involved [in golf],” Stephanie said. “It’s not a sport that is easy for someone without patience, and a lot of younger children don’t have that patience.” Their entire family has been crucial in the twins’ development of both their talent and dedication to golf. “My parents both golfed for fun and introduced it to us as something we could all do together,” Laura said. “We also have an older sister who is great at golf.” Stephanie said golf allowed the family to spend more time together. “It was something that connected all of us and allowed us to bond,” Stephanie said. UWO women’s golf coach Liza Ruetten said she’s impressed with Laura’s improvement from a mental standpoint. “Laura has improved more in course management and her mental strength,” Ruetten said. “If she has a tough hole, she is now able to shake it off and move on.” Coach Ruetten also said the best part of Laura’s game has been her ability to drive the ball and looks to improve on some things before the spring season starts. “Laura is one of our longest hitters,” Ruetten said. “She also has great range with her long iron play. The one area we will focus on for spring is distances from around 85-120 yards.” Stephanie supports Ruetten in saying that the best part of Laura’s game is her driving. “She can hit the ball farther than me, which is an advantage, and she’s learned how to use it as one,” Stephanie said. “I also think she is very solid at hitting with her irons as well.” Laura said she thinks Stephanie’s biggest strength in golf is her short game. “[Stephanie] has a very good short game,” Laura said. “She has really good control around the green which helps her in the end.” While they may be twins, the girls approach the game a little differently from a mental standpoint. “Laura stays relatively calm whether she’s playing great or even not so great,” Stephanie said. “Whereas for me, you can instantly tell how I’m feeling; my emotions can sometimes be seen through what I’m doing on the course.” After being together their freshman year of college, the twins decided to branch out and attend different schools to play golf. “As soon as she decided to go to the same school as me, I was the happiest person in the world,” Laura said. “After our freshman year we realized we needed a change and were going to have to separate at some point.” Stephanie also said it was important to go their own ways and grow on their own. “We both decided it was time to go our separate ways and get some independence,” Stephanie said. “Although I miss her, it allowed us to grow and also find out more of who we want to become.” Laura said playing with her sister during competition allows her to play a little less tense and not worry so much if she is doing poorly. “I love getting to play golf with [Stephanie] because we can just joke and have fun,” Laura said. “It makes me a little more relaxed.” The girls soak up the opportunity whenever they get the chance to play together. “Laura and I have that connection, and we just want to catch up with each other since we’re not at the same school,” Stephanie said. “We are honestly best friends, and I couldn’t imagine my life without her.”