Herr Excited to Return
Jan. 24, 2018
Erica Herr is looking forward to rejoining her teammates this spring with a new outlook on the game of golf.
After battling through an injury late last spring and missing this past fall entirely, the senior from New Hope, Pa., is ready to rejoin her teammates for the 2018 season.
"I'm so excited to get back," Herr said. "I think that's the one thing that has been getting me through the rehab process. Knowing that if I worked hard, I could be playing sooner rather than later."
Golf has been a major part of Herr's life since before she can remember. Her older brother, Zach, grew up playing the game and eventually played four years at Vanderbilt. Her younger sister, Maddy, currently plays for Penn State.
"After watching my brother in some of his tournaments, I decided to start to play," Herr said. "I began to play in some tournaments of my own and started to get really competitive."
Herr's aptitude for the game was apparent as a junior golfer, as she worked her way up the rankings and eventually earned her way to the 2013 U.S. Women's Open.
With many of the nation's top schools recruiting her, Herr considered all of her options, but concedes that Wake Forest was always her number one choice.
"Wake Forest was always my number one choice," she added. "It was on my radar from the time I was young. I fell in love with the campus the first time I saw it, so I was really happy to end up here." Wake Forest golf coach Dianne Dailey was thrilled to land Herr as part of the team's 2014 recruiting class.
"She was a really good junior player," Dailey said. "She visited several times when her brother was coming to visit, so I was able to meet her as well. She seemed like a really nice young lady and a very good golfer."
During her first season with the Deacs, Herr helped lead the team to a third-place finish at the ACC Championships and a second-place effort at the NCAA Regionals in South Bend, Indiana. On the final day of the NCAA Regionals, Herr shot a 1-over 73 to give the Demon Deacons a chance at the title.
"My freshman year was great. We had such great team chemistry and we were really confident going into ACC's and Regionals," Herr added. "We were so reliant on each other and so supportive of each other, that our confidence continued to grow."
However, Herr's career at Wake Forest also shows what a mental test golf can sometimes put a person through. Midway through last season, Herr began feeling discomfort that continued to worsen throughout the season. As the season went on, the team lost other key contributors, leaving the team with a thin lineup.
Knowing the team's roster situation, Herr played through her injury and finished out the season.
"It was very painful, so I tried to limit my practices and the amount of hitting I would do," Herr remembered. It made me realize that golf is hard enough as it is, but when you add something else to mentally and physically overcome, it makes it even harder."
After being forced to miss the entire fall 2017 season, Herr set her sights on rehab in the hope that she could help her teammates for one last run.
"I've been doing rehab pretty much every day," Herr said. "I've slowly worked up and done a lot of mobility and weight training. Over break, I was doing a ton of rehab at home. I haven't hit yet, so that's going to be a slow process, but we're going to get there."
Coach Dailey is certainly looking forward to having her back with the team. "I think it's going to be fun to have her back. We've missed her. To have a full team back again would be great. It's going to take a little while. She has to go at it slow."
For Herr, the experiences of the past year have given her a new appreciation for her time with her teammates and the game of golf. "I definitely think I appreciate golf a lot more. You kind of take it for granted when you're healthy and maybe have an attitude of "I have to do this every day", but when it's taken away, it's more of "I get to do this every day."
"I've gained a new perspective on the sport. I definitely have a new outlook on the game, so I'm excited to see how that helps me going forward."
- by Joseph Garwood, Athletic Communications
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