By Matt Mauney | Associate Editor
Meg Jordan has many passions in life. Golf is only one of them, but the sport has had a strong influence on her life and the path she has chosen.
“It has done so much for me, and I’ve met people from all over the world just because of golf,” she says.
This fall, Jordan wrapped up her 10th season as the head girls golf coach at Plant City High, the school where she was standout player from 1982-85.
Jordan first started playing when she was 7. Two years later she, won her first tournament at Plant City’s own Walden Lake Golf and Country Club, in a Greater Tampa Junior Golf Association 9-hole tournament.
“I think I shot like a 54, and it was kind of on from then,” she remembers.
Jordan began competing in junior tournaments throughout the country, and her parents decided to make an investment and move to Walden Lake.
“I wasn’t going to be able to drive for a bit, so it helped with transportation issues,” she says. “We moved there when I was 11, and I played the 13th hole a bazillion times. I knew every yardage from every blade of grass on that hole.”
Once she got to Plant City as a sophomore, Jordan quickly became a standout player, winning Western Conference her first two seasons to advance to state.
Her senior year with the Raiders wasn’t as successful, but her legacy already was made at the school, and she established herself as one of the top college prospects in the state.
During her junior year, Jordan went on many recruiting trips to some of the top women’s golf schools of the time, including Duke, Wake Forest and Missouri.
The University of Florida was especially fond of Jordan and her friend Diana Miles, a standout from Sarasota.
“They (Florida) were expecting us to go there, and, at the time, we were expecting to go there,” Jordan says.
Then, Jordan’s high school coach received a call from Bud Marsee, who was helping start the girls golf program at Auburn University.
“I didn’t even know where the place was,” she remembers.
Marsee recruited Jordan and Miles heavily and brought them up to Alabama together for a recruiting trip.
“We just fell in love with the place,” Jordan says. “We liked being a part of a new program and starting from the ground up.”
And did they ever.
When Miles and Jordan got there, the team didn’t even have uniforms. But, by the time she was a senior in 1989, Jordan was a key contributor to the first SEC championship in the history of the Auburn women’s golf program, a program establishing itself as national power today.
Looking back, Jordan admits she may have turned pro too soon. She skipped amateur status coming out of college and joined the Futures Tour, a supplemental tour of the Ladies Professional Golf Association.
“I would recommend going amateur to anyone,” she says. “High school and college is a team sport, so if you have a bad day, you’re score gets dropped. That doesn’t happen as an individual.”
She played on the Futures Tour for six years and came close to breaking through a few times.
“It comes to a point where everyone has the skill, and it’s mentally what’s going to move you to the next level,” she says.
Jordan was in a severe car accident in 1995 on Interstate 4 that sidelined her for a few years. That, coupled with the passing of her mother in 1997, all but put an end to her playing career, despite one last run in 1998.
“My heart just wasn’t in it anymore,” she says.
Jordan began her coaching career in 2001, working with boys and girls teams at a high school in Pennsylvania.
In 2003, she returned to her alma mater as a Spanish teacher and the girls golf coach.
Jordan has established a program at Plant City High, including two undefeated regular seasons from 2010-11 and a 2012 season during which the team finish second at districts and third at regionals.
Jordan and her husband, Micah, are also business owners. They started Carpet Diem, a carpet, tile and upholstery cleaning business two years ago. This is Jordan’s fourth business.
“My aspirations and work ethic from golf have carried through to other aspects of my life, and I have always enjoyed having my own business,” she says.
A SPECIAL TEAM
As with any high school sport, great players will come and go.
Entering this past season, there were questions surrounding Jordan’s team and how it would respond after losing what she says was her most talented class to date.
The Lady Raiders’ two-year regular-season winning streak came to an end this year against Steinbrenner. It was Steinbrenner that stopped Plant City from taking a district title this year, after winning both a district and region championship in 2011 for the first time in program history.
The Lady Raiders still made the region tournament with a second-place finish at districts but fell short of a third straight trip to the state tournament as a team.
But, that all was with a team that featured no seniors and three freshmen playing in the starting five for the majority of the season — a first for Jordan.
With standout Kellyanne Hurst back for her senior year, a talented Lindsay Box returning for her junior season after two years with the team and a more experienced group of talented young players, Jordan says she may have that special team about which every coach dreams.
“In any sport, it takes a special group of people to come together at one time and do something really special,” she says. “I think that this is it.”