Women’s golf’s Palacios is Miss Consistency

Maria Palacios has been the modal for consistency in her two seasons of playing golf at Georgia State.

Palacios is native of Castellon, Spain and is a Western Texas College transfer. She concluded her first season at Georgia State with one top-10 finish, but she placed in the top 25 five times in her 10 tournaments.

This season, Palacios’ consistency has made a significant leap. Palacios has emerged with six top-25 finishes and five top-10 finishes, including winning the John Kirk Panther Intercollegiate.

Teammate and close friend Lauren Court thinks Palacios’ consistency has helped motivate and calm the players around her.

“She’s really pushed the team to be better,” Court said. “She’s one of those people that just plays because she loves it.

“She doesn’t think too much, and she’s really brought that into the team, and that’s been good for us.”

“She’s also consistent every time, she’s a person you can depend on to play well,” she said.

Not only is Palacios’ play consistent, but her on-course demeanor is also consistent despite the score. Palacios holds the same demeanor whatever the situation, and she is not easily rattled. This allows her to make calculated decisions on where to place her shots and to not allow pressure to break her.


Palacios has emerged with six top-25 finishes and five top-10 finishes, including winning the John Kirk Panther Intercollegiate.


“You can’t ever really tell when she’s playing good or bad by her facial expression, which is a big deal for golfers,” Court said, “because a lot of us wear our emotions on our sleeves.”

“With [Palacios], she could be shooting 100, she could be shooting 52, you just never know. She could be breaking world records and you wouldn’t be able to tell,” Court said.

Palacios believes that a consistent routine has helped her improve from last season after making a few tweaks.

“I usually go to the gym before [tournaments] with Lauara [Sanchez]. I always go to the gym and warm up,” Palacios said. “I don’t think I did it last year, but this year we did it no matter what,” Palacios said.

“It makes you play better I guess, if you have a routine. It makes you ready,” she said.

Palacios said she can see the changes in herself from her days at Western Texas College. She is more even keel, and that has helped her to develop her game.

“I feel like I’ve grown a lot. I mean, still think I can get better. There are still areas that I have to improve, but I kind of know how now,” Palacios said.

“I didn’t know before. I was just like crazy, you know, and was just playing,” she said. “Now I focus more, and I have a routine, and I do certain things I didn’t do before,” she said.

Palacios’ calm temperament has allowed for consistency. But she broke through in a big way for her first collegiate victory with a little extra motivation from her sister, who made the journey from Spain to watch and to show her support for Palacios.

“It was good because my sister got to watch it,” Palacios said of her victory in the John Kirk Panther Intercollegiate.

“I always try to win, but because my sister was there, I was more excited about playing,” Palacios said. “She came all the way from Spain to watch me play.”

The 2013-14 season was definitely special for Palacios, but the disappointing finish still looms fresh in the mind of Palacios.

The Panthers fell a short of a NCAA Tournament regional bid with their fifth-place finish in the Sun Belt Conference tournament.

“I was really confident that we were going to play good or better anyway, but I guess we were too nervous,” Palacios said.

“Sometimes when you really want it so much it can mess you up on your game,” she said.

Palacios was quick to see the bright side.

“We had good fun, apart from the golf,” she said. “We always have fun with the girls.”