LPGA*USGA Girls Golf alumna Taylor Totland showed she’s not much of a toddler anymore as she captured her first professional win at the Georgia Women’s Open on June 9. The Symetra Tour member from New Jersey finished the two-day tournament at –11-under par overall.
“Felt great! It was my first win as a professional and going into this event, my expectations were low so to go out and win was a really great feeling. One that I will never forget,” Totland told the LPGA when asked how she felt immediately after capturing the title.
Going into the round with little to no expectations was just about all one could do given the unfortunate pandemic which has modified every athlete’s training routine. Refusing to let closed driving ranges stop her from practicing, the Furman University graduate quickly found alternative methods to stay proactive.
“It was hard to prepare properly because a lot of the places near me for practice weren’t open yet, so I bought a net for the backyard and worked on fundamentals,” said Totland. “I also worked out more because I had lot more time on my hands. I went on hikes, spent a lot of time on the lake, attempted to wake surf and really just tried to make the most of unexpected downtime.”
The sport of golf requires athletes to keep in shape both physically and mentally. For the latter, the 25-year-old says she tries to look at the current season as a unique opportunity –one that buys her more time to get ready for all there is to come.
“My swing coach and I decided to view this season as a ‘developmental season’,” said Totland. “Because I have the same status this year as I do next year, this season really gives me the opportunity to fine-tune what I am working on and test it out in events so I will be totally ready and confident for next year.”
For Totland, there is a lot to look forward to such as qualifying for the LPGA Tour and becoming the best golfer she can be; however, these dreams began when Totland was a young girl participating in her neighborhood’s Girls Golf program.
“Girls Golf was great! Growing up in New Jersey there were not a lot of kids that golf, especially girls, so I was fortunate that my parents decided to sign me up for a Girls Golf program,” said Totland. “It was there I had my first experience with girls around my age that golfed and I was able to form new friendships from my being out there.”
Totland joyfully recalls the fond memories she had as a Girls Golf member – many of which she is now grateful for.
“Every tournament for Symetra has a program called ‘Inside the Ropes’ and it gives us an opportunity to give back to the sport,” Totland said. “Girls Golf is one of the programs that we see and it is great getting to be back there and watching how much fun these girls are having because it brings back so many fun memories of myself at their age in the program. Girls Golf gave me a good group of young girls to play golf and socialize with. I would normally go get ice cream after each Girls Golf session with a new friend from my class and it is something I always looked forward to each week.”With her first professional win in the bag, Totland stands as a model for each young golfer who dreams to play professional golf. As experienced as she is, the Girls Golf alumna’s main piece of advice is to go out there and just have fun, words of wisdom that are helpful for golfers of all ages.
“It is so important to always have fun with it,” said Totland. “I always play my best golf when I am having fun out there. If you have the chance to play in a tournament, do it because I believe that is where you learn a lot about yourself as a player. And just enjoy everything about the experience; enjoy making new friends and playing in places all over the country, or the world.”