The date was May 2, 2017, when Amy (Ahlers) Allgood etched her name in history. It was the day Allgood became the first individual GPAC champion ever for the Concordia Golf program. Before the round began, an opposing coach told Amy that the weather in Florida, where the national championships would take place, was going to be real nice. The comment seemed to perplex her at the time. There was no time to celebrate with one round yet to go.
Amy had rallied back from eight strokes down at one point to claim the GPAC title. Four years earlier, Amy had played this same course, Qual Run in Columbus, Neb., and finished short of the state championship she hoped to achieve. This time around, Amy got her fairytale ending.
“It’s like it was just yesterday,” says Amy six years later. “When I think back it makes me so happy because I had experienced so much heartbreak over the years. In high school, things didn’t end the way I was hoping they would my senior year. Then I placed fourth, second and third in the GPAC. I knew I could do it. It was my last chance to do it. Just thinking back, I remember thinking, oh my gosh, you got to get it together for this tournament. It’s one of those things, all these years later, I still have a hard time putting into words. I remember I hit the best three-wood of my life on one of the final holes. It was so great having my teammates and parents there, along with everyone who supported me.”
Through sheer determination, Amy experienced the glorious cap to a career that many athletes only dream about. It represented the signature moment of her collegiate playing career that led into her being selected to the Concordia Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2023. All Amy can do is scoff at the attention just like she did as a collegiate golfer. One day when her class of third graders managed to Google her name, Amy felt some degree of embarrassment by the recognition.
At the same time, it was one of those moments that made Amy smile and realize she’s blessed to have followed the path that was intended for her. In her vocation, Amy teaches third graders at Boone Central Schools and coaches the high school’s girl’s golf team. This is her happy place, even if she sometimes is on the receiving end of some ribbing over her ‘fame.’ Says Amy of that classroom interaction, “I come to find out they were Googling me. They were like, ‘Miss Ahlers, look at you. What is all this?’ I’m like, ‘No, no, no.’ They were saying, ‘Oh, she’s like famous.’ I’m like, ‘No, I am not famous. Stop it. Get back to work.’”
Beyond the golf game and the competitiveness that drove Amy to be a champion, she’s just plain nice. Her class, her professionalism and her consistent high achievement drew respect from teammates and opponents alike. As Amy closed in on the GPAC title in the spring of 2017, she had coaches and players from other teams rooting for her. It was her time, and the GPAC women’s golf contingent seemed to feel that elation for her.
As Head Coach Brett Muller said at the time, “I had multiple coaches come up to me either before or after the tournament and tell me how very deserving Amy is to be player of the year and to represent the conference at the national tournament. People are excited for her. There’s been an outpour of congratulatory comments. She definitely feels the love.”
That culminating moment was just one of many that exemplified Amy’s greatness. Incredibly, Amy won championships at 11 of the 40 tournaments she played in her college career. The 11 titles are far and away the most ever won by a Concordia golfer. She also placed in the top 10 at 32 tournaments, finished in the top four of the GPAC each year, was twice named an Academic All-American by CoSIDA and graduated with school records for lowest scoring average in a season (80.79) and career (81.89).
The GPAC championship earned Amy a spot in the 2017 NAIA Women’s Golf National Championship held at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Amy may not have met her own high expectations at the event, but it remains an unforgettable experience.
“I had the best time with (teammate) Murphy (Sears),” Amy said. “I’m so glad she went with me. She helped keep things in perspective. I was hard on myself when I wasn’t playing well. She would consistently remind me, ‘C’mon, Amy, you’re in Florida. You’re a GPAC champ. You’ve got this.’ She was a huge bright spot on that trip. I remember counting all the lizards on the sidewalks. PGA National was gorgeous. It was such an amazing trip. It was an experience I’ll never forget. I’m glad Coach Muller and Shawn (Rodehorst) were there, and my parents made the trip. Overall, it was definitely the trip of a lifetime.”
Amy calls her teammates and friends from Concordia “a blessing.” She says she still remembers her first-time visiting Concordia. She knew it was the place for her because she felt it.
“It was the perfect place for me with the friendships I gained and the education I got and the opportunity I got to play golf,” Amy said. “I feel like Concordia will always have a special place in my heart. I had someone who is in high school come up to me this summer and tell me they were thinking about visiting Concordia. I told them they need to go check it out and see. It will always have a special place in my heart, and I’ll always be grateful for all that it gave me and continues to give me still today.”
Concordia prepared Amy for a life in teaching. She spent a year teaching in Lincoln before returning to her hometown of Albion. Heading into year seven as an elementary teacher, Amy exudes just as much passion as ever for what’s to come. She just got married this summer, hence the last name Allgood. Life in small-town Nebraska is just what Amy hoped it would be.
Her love for the game of golf continues to be a theme in her life. It spills into the classroom and continues at practice with the high school team. Amy is a natural with her positivity, her ability to relate and her expertise. She says she gets more nervous coaching than she ever did as a player.
“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher and that was my path in life,” Amy said. “I feel so blessed every day I get to do something that I love. I love kids and I love helping them learn and grow. I get the best of both worlds. I get to hang out with my third graders all day and I also get to hang out with the high school team. I really miss competitive golf. It’s been a huge part of my life since I remember. It’s so fun to work with all skill levels and be able to instill the love for golf that I have. I get to teach a sport they can enjoy forever and teach them it can take them to beautiful places and introduce them to awesome people.”
Amy is one of those awesome people. She’s humble enough that something like being chosen to the Hall of Fame would have barely crossed her mind – until it actually happened. That same weekend Amy got married, she also learned of the Hall of Fame selection. Says Amy, “I was just very humbled by it. Coach had texted me. I was just like, ‘I don’t deserve this – what is this?’ He was like, ‘Yes, you do.’ It’s very humbling. I never expected or imagined it would happen, but I’m super excited. It’s been so fun to think back about all the memories. It seems like it was yesterday. It was such a fun four years at Concordia.”
She’ll still refuse to acknowledge that she’s famous, though she has some past students who might think otherwise. Amy will have plenty more to offer when she recites her Hall of Fame speech, but she put forth the following advice to Concordia student-athletes, when asked what she would tell them:
“I would say, enjoy the journey. I loved it all. I wished that I lived more in the moment and wasn’t quite so hard on myself. The journey was so fun and I was blessed to be able to do what I did. I had so much support along the way. First of all, enjoy the journey. Second, you can do anything you put your mind to. If you put in the time and commit your whole self to something, good things will happen. There will be bumps in the road, but you have to keep plowing along. If you keep your head up and give it everything you’ve got, good things will come.”