“I’m Going to Take An Opportunity To Brag On My Mom” Ally McDonald Reflects on her Mother’s Influence on Mother’s Day
Sitting amid a difficult day at one of her earliest Epson Tour events, Ally McDonald was taking a verbal tongue lashing from her caddy.
“Am I going to have to take you off this golf course and give you a whooping?”
McDonald paused and laughed after processing the words only her mother, who was on the bag for her at the start of her professional career, could dish out to McDonald.
Making the Best of a Poor Hand
Angie McDonald, Ally’s mother, worked as a quality specialist for United Blood Services. When McDonald was close to finishing her collegiate golf career, Angie was contacted about relocating to keep her job.
Considering that the family was still putting another child through school, moving was never in the cards. Early retirement was dealt to her, right as Ally was closing in on graduating from Mississippi State.
When McDonald began her professional career shortly after graduation, the McDonald family came together and decided how best to support Ally as she began to pursue her dreams.
Concluding that it was essential to have people around McDonald who believe and supported her in the nascent stages of her career, the family identified when each person could attend specific tournaments. The most significant responsibility fell on the former quality specialist, who took up the bag for her oldest child.
That decision did not go unnoticed by McDonald, explaining that, “It was a calmer for me. To have mom at every event was very special, and a huge testament to why and how I got to the LPGA.”
Having her mom on the bag at the start of her professional career was made all the more special by her role in getting McDonald started in golf.
The Sacrifices of a Parent
When McDonald’s mom met her dad, Jamie, her father had never touched a golf club. Inspired to get further to know Angie, Jamie began playing golf.
The sport that became part of the fabric of their relationship was passed on to their children. When Ally began playing at the age of 10, her father would take her to the course when her mother had the night shift.
It wasn’t just her parents that helped her out once she started golfing. “My Grandmas always took me to golf tournaments in the summer so that I can brag on them for Mother’s Day too,” McDonald explained.
It was a team effort throughout the year. Her mom didn’t stay as her caddy the whole season. As McDonald progressed on the Epson Tour, her dad was handed the reigns of the pushcart at the Epson Tour Championship.
McDonald graduated to the LPGA Tour after finishing in second place on the Epson Tour money list in 2016; she took to noting her mother’s role in her success on and off the course. The Mississippi native earned the Heather Wilbur Award along with her LPGA Tour card. The award honors the player that best exemplifies dedication, courage, perseverance, and love of the game and spirit toward achieving goals as a professional golfer.
The 2017 LPGA rookie explained at the celebration, “Once my mom got on the bag in South Bend, I started to step up and play more how I am capable of playing.”
A Motherly Influence on the LPGA Tour
When McDonald began her LPGA Tour career, she chose to hire a professional caddy. Her mother continued to be a mainstay in her golf life, attending what tournaments her schedule allowed.
She doesn’t stay on the sidelines when visiting, regularly interacting with McDonald’s friends on the LPGA Tour. “The girls out here, sometimes they just love being around my mom and that she’s a motherly figure to them too.”
Taking in her mother’s influence, McDonald explained that she wished she was half the person her mom is. The trait, in particular, she’d like to emulate is her heart.
“She’d do anything for anyone at any given time no matter if she was tired, no matter if she had something she needed to do, she would absolutely go out of her way to make someone else’s day.”
With the lessons that McDonald’s mother aimed to teach her cemented into her daughter, it’s difficult to see McDonald’s mom pulling her off the course to give her a whooping anytime soon.