Every year, Q-Series attracts a wide cast of characters: amateurs looking for their first opportunity on a professional tour, Epson Tour and LET players looking to advance to the LPGA and current LPGA players working to retain their status. Many are making their Q-Series debut, and many are regulars at the event. In her sixth appearance at Q-Series, Dani Holmqvist has established herself as a regular with a successful record.
The key to Holmqvist’s strong performances at one of the most stressful events in golf? Having a good time whenever she’s off the golf course.
“The only thing I can say is just to have a good, solid system and support system outside of golf, people and family that love and like you for who you are regardless of the score you shoot,” Holmqvist said. “Also coming home to a puppy helps a lot. I would say having a good life outside golf makes it a lot easier.”
The 34-year-old has certainly been busy off the course for most of her career. After a cart crash at Blue Bay LPGA in 2018, Holmqvist suffered a back injury that required multiple injections and a long rehab. The Swede suddenly had a ton of time on her hands, so she picked up a couple unconventional hobbies: studying win and flying a helicopter. After two years of studying, Holmqvist is now a level 3 sommelier. Between golf courses and wine tastings, you can find Holmqvist in the sky, training to get her pilot’s license.
“I think helicopters are cool,” Holmqvist said in May. “I was thinking of trying a plane, but I don’t like how you are so dialed in with a flight map and have to plan so much ahead. The freedom with the helicopter was appealing.”
Holmqvist’s professional career has been a long one, with many ups and downs that required a fun hobby or two to balance out the frustrations. She has spent seven seasons on the LPGA Tour, first earning her card at Q-Series in 2013 where she finished T44. Holmqvist returned a year later after struggling in her rookie season, where she finished just outside of the top 45. Quickly rebounding, she made her way back to the LPGA with a strong showing on the Epson Tour, finishing in the top 10 in the Ascensus Race for the Card.
Though she finished outside of the top 100 in her first two seasons, the Swede maintained her status with great results at Q-Series. In 2018, Holmqvist climbed her way to No. 85 on the money list and avoided Q-School for the first time.
But the injury in 2018, sidelined Holmqvist for most of the 2019 season and plagued her through the next three seasons as she rehabbed. Finally, in 2021, Holmqvist returned to Q-Series and missed the cut, sending her back to the Epson Tour.
Holmqvist had another great season on the Epson Tour in 2022, carding seven top 10 results, highlighted by a runner up finish at the Carlisle Arizona Women’s Golf Classic. The 34-year-old finished at No. 16 on the money list, just a few spots away from earning automatic entry into the LPGA.
“I would probably argue that there should be more cards on the Epson Tour because there are so many good players out there,” Holmqvist said. “I think they deserve to be on the LPGA. I just missed out on it, and I had seven top 10s and felt pretty solid out there.”
But Holmqvist’s 16th place finish does guarantee status for next season and let her bypass Stage II of Q-School and go right to Q-Series, where she is already starting to excel. After a disappointing +3 performance in the opening round, Holmqvist quickly rebounded and posted two consecutive rounds at 5-under par to improve to 7-under and jump to T14 on the leaderboard.
“I think the first day was just mostly a battle with the cold,” Holmqvist explained. “I thought it was pretty difficult to play in that kind of cold weather and the really wet course. But forecast was a lot better today, so I feel like it was easier to hit some good shots. Just had fun out there, played pretty smart and got a few putts to drop, so it was nice coming in at 5-under.”
Though Holmqvist has been to Q-Series many times before, Holmqvist will be pulling lessons from her entire career to help her moving forward. Mostly, she is concentrating on staying strong mentally through the long eight-round grind.
“Playing any professional sport, especially golf, you got to be so mentally tough,” Holmqvist said. “I think that’s a quality I’ll take with me forever, regardless of what I do. It’s pretty amazing.”