Dreams to Reality: Trinity Ledgerwood’s Drive to Success and Adjustment From Kaiser to Hilo Golf 

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED JUNE 30, 2023

HONOLULU — Trinity Ledgerwood’s love for golf and the career that has followed started because of the rest of her family. 

Well, sort of.

The University of Hawai’i-Hilo golfer just finished her first year in the college ranks after her 2022 graduation from O’ahu Interscholastic Association member Kaiser High School, where she competed in multiple sports for the Cougars. 

Ledgerwood competed in seven of nine total events in her freshman season for UH-Hilo, three as an individual, while helping the Vulcans to a 6th-place finish in the PacWest Championships. While finding success on the course, she also dominated her duties in the classroom as she received Hawai’i Hilo Student-Athlete Academic Honors in her first year on a neighbor island.

Her jump to Division II college athletics comes on the heels of a four-year stay on the varsity golf roster for Kaiser. She was the only girl from the Kaiser to place in the state tournament her senior year. 

The Hawaii-Kai native grew up watching her mother and stepfather loving the game of golf, but sitting nearby for her older sister’s lesson is when the love affair with the sport started for the youngest Ledgerwood. 

“Ever since [the day of the lesson], I was the one that was golfing,” the Vulcans’ golfer recalled. “I love it. My stepdad, we’ve always been super competitive… Having that competition [with him] is always fun.” 

With the entire family committed to the sport, she found an environment that allowed her to flourish and grow her game. She remembers being about 8 years old when the aforementioned lesson took place and her voyage began, but didn’t play competitively until she was nearly a teenager.  

After entering high school, the competition level went up another notch with her own family. The away-from-school competition allowed for her to thrive when she suited up for Kaiser competitively. 

The Kaiser school staff helped Ledgerwood from there, giving the golfer the tools needed to “make [her] dreams a reality.” 

The “tools” included an ability to still thrive in the classroom while participating in high school sports and a varsity coach that cared enough to continue getting enough matches to qualify the program for larger tournaments. 

More than most sports, golf tests one’s mental fortitude. With that in mind, UH-Hilo’s lone representative from O’ahu learned that it will continue to be an on-going process as she works through the highs-and-lows that the sport can present. 

“Honestly, I’m still struggling with [the mental side] because it’s just such a hard, emotional sport,” Ledgerwood admitted. “I’ve gone to sports hypnotherapists and they’ve given me positive affirmations to repeat to myself. With my teammates, after every tournament or after every day, we’ll say three things that we think were positive about our day, no matter how bad the day was.”

She’s found that positivity helps give reassurance to her and the team to perform at their top level and not allow bad outings to snowball the next time they take the course. That’ll be important for the Vulcans, who didn’t have a single senior on the roster this season and will look to build on some strong performances from the 2022 season.

Ledgerwood also discussed her major in school and how she hopes to parlay that into something bigger one day, how she was inspired to pursue the career in the first place, her dream NIL partnership and much more.

As she sets her eyes on year two at the college level, the Vulcans’ golfer will try to keep the positive in her visual fairway. Being smart enough to use the tools around her, Ledgerwood against the mental side of the sport is among the only hurdles left in her pursuit of her dreams.