When people ask me how I spend my time out of school and I say, “I play golf!” I get mixed reactions. Some people say, “Oh wow! I’ve never met a girl who actually plays golf!” or “Isn’t that a boy’s sport?” Golf is a strange sport for a teenage girl to play.
Before I started golf, I pretty much played every sport you can come up with. I was a state swimmer and competitive volleyball player in middle school, but I just was never truly happy playing those sports. So, one day I decided to try golf! My dad grew up playing golf and played through college and even on the Web.com tour for a couple years, so he was very excited that I was willing to try it.
Playing any sport for the first time is rough, especially golf. You can ask any professional sports player and 9/10 of them will say that golf is the hardest sport they have ever tried to play. I began playing when I was 13, right in the middle of ‘the awkward stage’ of any girls life. The insecurities of growing up as a teenager were everywhere in my small world, and they began to show when I would go to practice golf. My family was a member of a nice country club so I had a perfect place to spend my afternoons practicing my new sport. The country club was full of junior golfers, but most of them were boys… and they were really good at golf. My insecurities started to affect me wanting to practice because I became so worried about going to the driving range and concerned about what the boys thought of me and my golf game. I never wanted to practice because I, being a new golfer, was worried about what the boys would say behind my back. This not only hurt the progress of my golf game, but also my self-confidence. I would only practice if my dad was at the driving range with me because I was so self-conscious about what I looked like next to the talented golfers.
Overtime, I became friends with the boys out at my home course and now I cannot imagine playing golf without them. They have made such a positive impact on my golf game and allowed me to learn more about myself by teaching me to come out of my comfort zone. Off of the golf course, my confidence in myself has grown significantly. I believe in myself whenever I am in doubt because I just think to myself, “if I don’t believe in myself, who’s going to?” I am not afraid to put myself out there and take on roles as a leader in my school. Golf is a sport I have grown to love and can’t imagine my life without, and I have also grown to love the people I get to play it with whether it’s my friends or family.