As a freshman at Rutgers University, Kortnie Maxoutopoulis was named to the All-Big East Conference Women’s Golf Team, but after finding herself out of place and challenged in her faith, she transferred to TCU to push herself on and off the golf course.
“The tournaments we played in [at Rutgers], I felt didn’t really live up to my expectations,” Maxoutopoulis, a sophomore, said. “I felt if I would have stayed, I would have just been settling.”
When the Pleasanton, Calif., native began looking at schools, she said she had only considered state schools until a high school trip to Washington, D.C., showed her what life was like outside of California.
“I thought that college was a good time to try something new, so I started looking out of state,” Maxoutopoulis said.
The 40-minute drive from campus to New York City and the golf program affirmed Maxoutopoulis’ commitment to Rutgers. After a year of trying to adapt to the diverse, fast-paced east coast lifestyle, Maxoutopoulis said she was ready for a change.
In November 2012, she began her college search again, and one of the top prospects was TCU. During her sophomore year in high school, Maxoutopoulis visited TCU but at the time was not interested in schools outside of California.
"She came to us," head coach Angie Ravaioli-Larkin said. "She really fit with what we were looking for as far as talent and discipline on and off the golf course."
Maxoutopoulis earned a 4.0 in high school and is now apart of the John V. Roach Honors College.
"She has already proven to be an outstanding player and student," said Ravaioli-Larkin. "She has good grades, leadership, and low golf scores."
Maxoutopoulis looked at the University of Maryland and the University of Oregon among others but said she decided on TCU because of the appeal of a small school and the structure of the women’s golf program.
“The program here is more intense and structured, which I thrive off of, and we focus more on our short game and mentality, which always could use some work” Maxoutopoulis said.
Before each round, Maxoutopoulis said she reads over her handwritten notes on sports-psychology and faith-based sports books.
“When you’re on the course, it’s about believing you can play the game,” said Maxoutopoulis. “Once doubt comes in the picture, you’re done.”
Growing up as a Catholic, Maxoutopoulis said her faith is one of the most important things in her life. She has open discussions about faith with her teammates and listens to Christian music before going to class.
“I’m not playing for myself," she said. "I’m playing for [God], and knowing that calms me down on the course."
When Maxoutopoulis goes out to play, she said she enters her own world of golf. Before every tournament, she turns off her cell phone for the entire weekend.
“I just shut myself out from the world and really pay attention to what is in the moment. No outside distractions,” Maxoutopoulis said.
Those quirks seem to be helping her game. Since being at TCU, Maxoutopoulis has played in four tournaments and has improved her finish each time.
“My goal is to just focus on one tournament at a time, practice hard and the low score will come,” Maxoutopoulis said.
While she is competitive and driven on the course, Maxoutopoulis has set goals for a future in a career other than golf.
As a political science major, she said she is hoping to make an impact on education reform. Recently, she applied for summer internships with multiple congressional representatives.
“I want to go as far as I can with golf," Maxoutopoulis said. "But there is so much I want to try out first to determine if I want to take it all the way with golf."