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McCauley sisters reunited in UMN golf program

Simley High School golfer Reese McCauley signed with the Gophers women’s golf team where she will join her sister Bella McCauley next fall.
Image by Reese McCauley (courtesy)
Bella (left) and Reese (right) McCauley posing together on the fairway.

Reese McCauley of Simley High School signed a National Letter of Intent Nov. 9 to play for the Gophers women’s golf team. She joins her sister, Isabella McCauley, as teammates for the first time since the 2021-22 MSHL golf season.

Head coach for Gophers women’s golf Rhyll Brinsmead said when she first took over as head coach in January 2021, McCauley was one of the first names she heard.

“It was funny at times because we had to ask compliance what some of the rules were because Reese was around while we were watching Bella,” Brinsmead said.

Reese said she would train with Bella, and it never felt like there was any sibling rivalry. However, the two still push each other.

“If one of us was ready to leave, then the other one would just encourage the other one to stay longer and keep practicing,” Reese said.

Bella added the two never kept score when they did practice together, and it was more of a casual activity than a competition.

Reese and Bella learned everything they knew about golf from Sean McCauley, their father. Sean still serves as their swing coach to this day, according to Brinsmead. Reese said having someone to practice golf with pushed her to become a better player.

“I feel like I started getting good when I had more friends to practice with so that we can push each other,” Reese said. “I feel like that is when it started to definitely improve.”

Golf was not the only sport Reese played growing up. Reese said she participated in gymnastics for two years but entered a point in her life where she had to decide whether or not she wanted to continue with gymnastics or golf.

She said she picked golf because she was able to play with her dad and sister and saw herself playing golf more long-term.

Reese’s training with her sister and dad has set her up for success with the Gophers. Brinsmead said Reese’s game is a bit different than Bella’s in that Reese hits the ball further off the tee compared to when Bella entered collegiate play.

“It’ll be great to watch how that translates to the college game for her because she’s got the length,” Brinsmead said.

Knowing her work ethic, Bella believes Reese will be an immense asset to the program. Reese and Bella both started playing high school golf when they were in seventh grade after trying out for their high school team.

While a high school golfer, Reese won two state tournaments, once as a freshman and again as a junior.

“It’s going to push other people to see a freshman come in and just have it together,” Bella said. “Being able to play really well is always an encourager, or kind of puts a kick in the step for some of the people that might be a sophomore or junior.”

Bella completed her first full season of collegiate play last season and said the new environment will only build Reese’s golfing abilities.

In high school, Bella said golfers have around 10 or 12 tournaments per year and play one round. In college, there are around seven tournaments with three rounds.

“The amount of holes or rounds we play don’t even really compare,” Bella said.

Reese will have the guidance of her sister, teammates and coaches when she joins the Gophers as the program’s only signee next fall. In the meantime, she will finish out her season at Simley High School.

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