- RACE TO CME GLOBE
Symetra Tour Member
Ohio State University
Golf was on both sides of my family. I grew up playing on Rohanna’s Golf Course, a course that my father's uncle owned in Waynesburg, PA, but my maternal grandfather was my swing coach and who I spent almost all my golf time with. My maternal grandmother was also a teaching pro, so I spent a lot of time with her as well. My grandfather was the one who had really pushed me into competitive golf when I was 8 years old. It was very nerve wracking to me, but after about three tournaments and a lot of encouragement, I fell in love and knew it was something I wanted to do for as long as possible.
I fell in love with the game and love competition in general. To me, becoming a professional golfer didn't seem far-fetched or "abnormal.” My grandfather had played on Tour, my grandma had played competitively and was the coach at Youngstown State, and I had an older cousin who was on track to playing professionally as well.
The game has taught me so much and I would recommend that anyone get involved with it. I think it promotes patience, integrity, drive and self-confidence: all things that are extremely important to possess as a female leader.
I think more opportunities for women to be involved on every level would be helpful; but just as much as we feel "left out" sometimes, I also think it is our job to step up and break stereotypes and just jump into the game. For example, as a junior golfer, I was the only girl on my high school team until my sister joined as a freshman when I was a senior. Not many of my girlfriends were interested because first, not many kids played the game and second, there was no girls team, so coming from a non-golf background, you would just assume girls wouldn't play.
On a professional level, I think the LPGA Tour is headed in a good direction with promoting our players. Most people know all the PGA Tour players and everything about their lives because they have a ton more media attention. While we don't have the television viewership like the PGA Tour, the LPGA utilizes other outlets to showcase and tell stories of their players. I think doing this helps fans get to know us better and WANT to watch us.
As a junior golfer, I LOVED softball and knew I wanted to play as long as I could. I played through my senior year of high school and even started having doubts as to whether I wanted to play golf or softball in college, but I knew I had a chance of a career in golf. I was patient with my dreams and told myself to pace myself because it was a lifelong goal. Sometimes as an adult, I have to think back to my younger self and remember to stay patient. It's funny that as a professional golfer, it's harder to look at the game now than when you were a “kid,” but if I had to give myself some advice, it would be to practice my “feel putting.” I always struggled with "feeling" a putt, but had worked hard over the last 8 years to become a better putter. I sometimes wonder that if I had started some of my specific drills at an earlier age, it could have helped significantly in college and the beginning of my professional career.
It's sometimes about as difficult as you can imagine, but I can't think of my life any other way. There are many days when my husband and I are covering just about every hour of the day, trying to juggle everything. There are nights where I'm practicing my putting until 11:30 PM because that's the only time I have to practice. Our calendars include calving, breeding (cattle), golf, story time, play group, and doctors' appointments. Trying to figure out when to plan a birthday party is not easy either with our travel.
I remember one specific time last year, Gemelia had a Halloween party and I was supposed to leave at 9:30 AM the next morning for a tournament. Ethan had the wrong departure time and couldn't get away from the butcher shop. At midnight, I had to change my flight to 11 AM because it was impossible to do everything we needed to do by then. An hour and a half is vital time for us.
My grandfather Dick Schwartz, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Bobby Jones, and Me.