In the span of a month at the end of 2016, Katherine Perry (Cary, N.C.) had two life-changing moments. On November 5th, she married her longtime boyfriend, Kevin Hamski. Then, on December 4th, she sealed her spot on the LPGA Tour for 2017 by finishing in a tie for 14th at Final Stage of Qualifying Tournament. Perry, who will fly to the Bahamas on January 22nd to compete in the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic to open the season, has full membership for the first time in her career.
Here’s the truth: it’s a career that almost never reached the LPGA.
“It was either I make it through to the LPGA or I am done with golf,” admitted Perry about Q-School in December. “I didn’t feel a ton of pressure, I was OK with whatever happened, but I worked really hard leading up to it to make it through.”
Perry, who played on the Epson Tour each of the last two seasons, was getting frustrated with life away from family and was considering becoming an elementary school teacher and also had the thought of becoming a mom and finding a traditional 9-5 job.
That’s on hold and the best news of all is that she’s now ready to take a “yearlong honeymoon” on the LPGA Tour with her husband as her caddy.
“It’s going to fun, we’re excited to explore the U.S. and the world together,” said Perry, who didn’t go on a traditional honeymoon after getting married. "It’s going to be a great adventure, regardless of what happens on the golf course. I think I’m going to be so much happier with him on the course with me and that will produce better results.”
It’s a fairytale ending to a good old fashion golf love story. The pair met back in 2008 when Kevin was working at the golf course that Katherine played. They struck up a friendship and Kevin agreed to caddy for Katherine at the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open Qualifier and she made it through so he was on the bag again at the biggest event in women’s golf.
“After that, we started dating, I think it was my freshman of college,” recalled Perry, who was selected to the All-ACC team while at UNC in 2012. “He’s been my caddy ever since.”
In two seasons on the Epson Tour, Perry totaled just one top ten finish. While her stats don’t jump off the page, she did show flashes of strong golf on the Epson Tour. When she got a start on the LPGA at the Marathon Classic in 2016, she finished a very respectable T32. No surprise, Kevin was on the bag that week.
“The competing aspect and traveling the world has me excited,” said Perry. “I want to see how I stack up while also seeing new golf courses.”
Perry said she’s most looking forward to playing in Australia because she has never left the United States.
While preparing for a year on the LPGA, Perry has spent the offseason working with Robert Linville, her coach of eight years.
“I have been working on my wedges a lot this offseason as I know I have to be able to stick those close and make birdies when I can,” explained Perry, who will eventually take her husbands last name, but will start the season with her maiden name. “We made a couple of stroke changes at Q-School and those were huge. We’re focusing a lot on getting ball started on line. We got to make more putts, that’s the goal.”
Off the course, Perry said that over the last two years she has rededicated herself to her faith and has been going to church more often. She was even baptized with her older sister last year.
“My faith really helped at Final Stage because I just trusted in God’s plan and his will,” said Perry. “It really helped to calm me down. I knew everything would be OK.”
In the span of two months, Perry went from girlfriend to wife, from Epson Tour to LPGA and from mentally ready give up the game to having a zest to travel the world and compete against the best.
Let the fun begin.