What makes professional golf hard?

By | LPGA, motivation | 2 Comments

There are dozens of correct answers to this question. Clearly, if it was not hard, then everyone would do it. However, I think the hardest parts are never discussed. Once you have the obvious requirements of the caliber of player one is and adequate tournament experience, there is a whole list of challenges that very few people are talking about.

I think that the hardest parts of playing professional golf are the parts that no one likes to talk about.

  1. You need support
    Obviously, you need a support system around you to be successful in any high-achieving situation, but I am talking about something different. You must have community support, club support, corporate support and financial support to be a successful professional golfer. It does not matter if you have the game if you cannot pay the entry fees. Getting out and finding a sponsor is no easy feat. If you find yourself on the Symetra Tour, you will be hard pressed to find a sponsor willing to hand out cash once companies realize that you are not given television time. So, you will be forced to get one or two part-time jobs so that you can save money to play during the season. Meanwhile, girls from other countries with stipends, girls fortunate enough to have family that have money to support them and girls who are savvy enough to find those few sponsors will be out on the course out-working you.
  2. You need to be organized
     Why does a professional golfer need to be organized? Your job is just about showing up and playing golf, right? That is not the case at all. You are now responsible for picking your tournament schedule, filing the necessary paperwork to play in events besides the main tour (30 days in advanced), filling out tax forms, coordinating your travel, scheduling workouts and practice, and meeting with potential sponsors. And please do not forget about your part-time jobs too! The reality is that you cannot afford an agent, so you need to stay on top of everything yourself. You now run a start-up small business and are responsible for all of tasks that make your company run. That includes hiring, firing and figuring out payroll. You will need to work with coaches, trainers, medical personal and caddies, all of who will need to be hired, fired and paid.
  3. You need to have faith
    Playing professional golf is going to be absolutely nothing like what you imagined it would be like, and you will need to have faith that you are where you are supposed to be. If any small bit of doubt creeps in and you feed it, you will be paralyzed. Golf forces you to fail almost every day on the course but when your quality of life and paycheck hang in the balance, it is hard to remember that you are world-class at failing. So be strong and fall in love with the game over and over again. There will be setbacks too numerous to count, but there will also be victories. Get ready for a wild ride!

Professional Status

By | goals, LPGA | 7 Comments

IMG_0311After four amazing years of collegiate golf at Florida State, I have graduated with a degree in Finance and now I get to start the next chapter in my life. This week, I have a big announcement for all of you. I will be declaring my status change to a professional golfer!

When I was in fourth grade, I began to tell anyone who would listen that I was going to be a professional athlete and that one day I would be competing with the women on the LPGA. It is interesting to note the way my dream has been received as I have gotten older, and closer to my goals. When I first began to dream, my teachers smiled at me and encouraged me; family told me how hard I would have to work and that I could do it. However, at some point in high school, people began to tell me that golf was not a career plan. I needed to study and to have plans outside of sports. So I appeased them. I became valedictorian of my high school, and I dreamt up some ideas of corporate jobs. In college, after battling through an injury, I was invigorated. Golf truly was almost taken from me and that made me want it all the more. I did realize, however, that my body was not invincible, so I took an internship to prepare me for the corporate world just in case. I never lost sight of my real dream or the desire to pursue it. I have endured the laughs and smirks from my peers and professors, from advisors and administrators, and even doubt from some of my family. Through it all, I knew this was my plan, this was my dream.

I will be making my professional debut on two mini-tour events that are a warm-up series for Q School in Palm Springs, California. Stage One of Q School is a four round event the first week of August in Rancho Mirage, California.

To be here in this moment is indescribable. I have trained, practiced and sacrificed since the moment that small, fourth grade version of myself decided that this was my dream. Now, I have the incredible opportunity to breathe it in and live it. I still have a lot of work to do and many small goals to accomplish in order to join ranks with the women on T.V. every week, but as of this week I can say that I am a professional athlete. And somewhere inside me, that fourth grader is celebrating.

Inside the Ropes at the Coates Championship Qualifier

By | LPGA, motivation | 3 Comments
On the first tee!!

On the first tee!!

What an adventure I have had the last two and a half weeks! While I was playing at The SALLY, where I shot 74-74-74-74 to finish alone in 5th place, I received the most exciting news! I had been awarded the amateur invite into the LPGA qualifier for the first event of the season…. I was beside myself with excitement about this opportunity to play with LPGA professionals and see what the tournament set-up would look like.

When I arrived to practice at the course two days before the qualifier, I was in awe. The ropes were up, the grandstands were set, and there were merchandise and concession tents everywhere. This was it. This is what playing professional golf is. I tried to soak it all in and still maintain my composure and focus.

When I stood on the first tee, I felt out of my element. The women I was playing with were seasoned professionals, they had professional caddies and my rhythm felt off. The officials expected your caddy to ask about lift-clean-and-place and procure a pin sheet. My first few holes showed my nerves. I hit my shots and my putts tentatively, leaving my ball short in the blustery conditions.

Finally, I realized that it was still just golf, even if it was an elevated setting. I relaxed and swung aggressively and suddenly I was out-driving my competitors. I began to have looks at birdie and played my last 13 holes at one over par. A 77 in tough conditions left me T33 out of 84 women.

The best part of this experience for me was being able to see that I have the game to play on the LPGA. I competed against women who have LPGA tour cards and showed that I belong out there! I am now more motivated than ever to fight every day to get better in anticipation of Q School in the fall. Now I can objectively say that I have the game to compete on tour.

Warming up before the event.

Warming up before the event.