GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – It took South Greene senior Maylei Hildenbrand a little while to find her way to the golf course.

“I joined the team on my sophomore year for the first time,” she said.

There were other sports at first – basketball and volleyball in middle school and even some tennis as a freshman.

“And then I found golf and decided to quit everything for that,” she explained.

She quit it all, deciding to take a swing at the most challenging sport she had ever played.

“It’s just something that everybody can always get better at,” she said. “Nothing is ever enough – you can always do better.”

For Hildenbrand, the improvement isn’t just in the physical part of the game, but in keeping her mind sharp and focused.

“You need to remember that you’re playing against the course and not the other people,” she said. “But, you need to keep in mind that you need to beat them, of course.”

She lives for the competition and there’s one matchup she likes, in particular.

“When you can out-hit people or beat somebody from the same tees – like a boy,” she smirked. “I like beating the boys.”

She and the other girls on the team will rotate filling that final spot on the boys’ team, and Hildenbrand relishes every opportunity she gets.

“Just because it’s tougher competition,” she said, “makes it more fun.”

Still, she manages to find moments of peace and relaxation in a game she finds so competitive.

“You just hear the birds and nature and everything,” she said. “You have really good views out there, and then when you get your friends around – you can just have fun.”

Even when she’s not competing, she’s still involved in the game, working at her home course at Link Hills Country Club.

“It’s my life – I do it every single day,” she said.

Hildenbrand hopes to continue making golf a part of her daily routine at the collegiate level. She’d prefer to stay closer to home, but at the end of the day, she has just one goal.

“I just want to play – it doesn’t matter where,” she said.