I began playing golf when I was four years old and haven’t stopped since. Growing up in a rural town in South Dakota I was fortunate to have a 9 hole golf course just blocks from my house. It wasn’t beautiful or glamorous, but it was the perfect place to learn the game. My dad, my sister, and I spent endless summer days going round and round that nine hole course for over 10 years.
When I was six years old, I attended a junior clinic put on by the South Dakota Golf Association in my home town with instructor Todd Kolb. From that point on, I began working with Todd and have continued to do so until this day. Looking back, I have no doubts that the balance I had between Todd as my instructor and my parents as my support system played a huge part in my success as a player. They continue to make up my inner circle and I couldn’t be more thankful. I firmly believe that the type of people you surround yourself with can have a bigger impact on your success than you may realize, so choose wisely. 🙂
I played my first tournament when I was five years old, and after 8 years of playing junior tournaments in South Dakota and some neighboring states, I qualified for my first USGA event. At 13, I went to Eagle, ID to compete in the USGA Girls’ Jr. Championship. I didn’t make the cut but couldn’t have been happier to be there. I vividly remember this event and would cite it as a turning point where I realized my dream of playing professional golf. I would continue to play South Dakota Golf Association events and USGA events up until I went to college.
After graduating high school in 2009, I played college golf at Texas Tech University under head coach JoJo Robertson. Texas Tech is located in Lubbock, TX and competes in the Big 12 conference. I came to college as an average player, but saw my game elevate to another level over the course of my eligibility. By the time I was a junior I would qualify as an individual to play in the NCAA National Championship. I finished in a tie for 8th place and would earn All-American honors. When I came back in the fall for my senior year, I picked back up where I left off. I would finish the fall 2012 season ranked #1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, thus earning Golfweek’s Fall Player of the Year. As a result of this ranking, I would earn an A-5 exemption to play on the Symetra tour for the rest of 2013.
My rookie year as a professional on the Symetra Tour was better than I could have ever imagined. Highlighted with a win and three other top tens, I would qualify to skip directly to final stage of qualifying school. I finished in a tie for 23 and missed my full LPGA card by 2 shots. However, I did gain partial status on the LPGA under category 17 for the 2014 season. I made the most of my partial status and would actually reshuffle into category 1 after a 4th place finish in Dallas in the spring.
It has been 3 years since that week in Dallas and I am now enjoying my fourth year on tour. I often feel like a very established player but am always striving to get better. Thank you for checking out my blog and feel free to join me on my journey.