Age of Amelon

After finishing as one of the top golfers in the state last year, Amelon shares her personal experiences that have affected her throughout her journey.


Olivia Dachtler

Jordan Amelon ’17 practices her form during practice.

Deniz Ince, Print Editor-in-Chief, Co-Sports Editor

Starting out at West High, Jordan Amelon ’17 was no star golfer. She saw herself in the “middle of the pack” and “definitely not a leader.” Since her freshman year, Amelon has grown to become one of the top golfers in the state, finishing sixteenth individually and leading her team to an eighth-place finish.

The West High tradition of a sports team qualifying for the state tournament wasn’t applicable to girls golf, either, when Amelon was a freshman. It could be said that she changed this for her sport.

“Going in [for state qualification,] we knew we had a chance. I was the last one to turn in my scorecard because I went to the wrong clubhouse, so it [turned] out they needed my score to win and go to state. We ended up going to state by one stroke, so that was pretty cool,” she said.

Since this moment, Amelon has grown to become one of the leaders among girls golfers in the state of Iowa. However, the path for her was harder than it is for most.

Before the age of five, Amelon had three heart surgeries, with one of them coming shortly after birth.

“I think it’s [that] one of my valves doesn’t work properly or something so everybody else’s heart pumps from the heart to the lungs and back to the heart and out to the blood but my heart’s not strong enough to do that so they created a surgery so it goes from the heart to the lungs to the body so I can kind of do half of what people do,” she said.

Despite this challenge, Amelon keeps pushing on in her sport, saying it doesn’t affect her golfing ability.

“I wouldn’t change it if I could, honestly. I think it’s made me into who I am and the values that I have,” she said.

I wouldn’t change it if I could, honestly. I think it’s made me into who I am and the values that I have.

— Jordan Amelon '17

The events of her youth have now carried into her golfing mentality.

“In golf, you’re playing more of the course than the person. For me, I just always want to win, [but] I don’t want to win because [someone] lost. I always root for the other person; I just want to do better than them. We’re friendly,” she said.

As for her improvement, Amelon cites her coach, Mary Goodfellow, as a reason for her success.

“She’s always afraid to tinker with my swing,” Amelon said with a laugh. “[Mary] actually helps me more than she knows. She just loves the game, absolutely loves it, so she’s just taught me to love the game like that as well.”

As a team captain, Amelon has adopted a leadership role on the team this year.

“She’s been playing this game for a long time, so she knows [how to deal with it] if you’re in a tough situation, like if you’re in the sand, … because it’s a mental game, too,” teammate Ellie Kouba ’19 said. “For me, I tend [to] … just go up and hit the ball, so she helps me try and picture what I want my shot to look like and how I can play it out.”

I definitely knew I wanted to play any sport for as long as I could and [signing] was just a way for me to continue doing it.

— Jordan Amelon '17

Amelon signed to play golf next year at St. Catherine University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. After starting their golf program only a few years ago, Amelon was impressed by their rapid success.

“The team I’m going to is a really good team. They actually qualified for the national championships this year, so I’d love to win a national title with them,” she said. “I definitely knew I wanted to play any sport for as long as I could and [signing] was just a way for me to continue doing it. I had a couple schools look at me. I kind of knew I wanted to go out of state, and they were the only out-of-state school that looked at me.”

This year, Amelon hopes for her mentality to carry her to her goal: a state title.

“I don’t know if I need any motivation ever. I’m just competitive and I want to win,” she said. “ I guess I’ve never [been] that standout athlete. I don’t necessarily hit the ball the farthest, so I feel like sometimes I’m almost underrated because I don’t have that one trait that stands out.”

Amelon is ready to work to accomplish this goal. 

“To win the state title, I have a lot of work to do,” she said. “I’m probably outside of the top ten right now so I have a lot of ways to go. I’d probably have to get a little lucky too.”