I grew up in the city of Chicago, and my family moved to Venice, Florida that day before High School started!
I started playing when I was 8 years old—I didn’t want to be left behind on weekends when my parents went to play golf. They were high school sweethearts, and my dad always joked it was cheaper to take my mom to go hit a bucket of balls than to go out to dinner. Until the day my dad died, he would say my mom was his favorite golf partner!
My mom is the one who took me to every lesson and every junior golf tournament. She knew more about my golf game than anyone, plus she was/is my biggest fan, encourager, and cheerleader! 🙂
What is your playing experience as a junior, amateur, college player, and professional?
After starting to play at age 8, I joke that I quit soon after because I got so frustrated and had several encounters with broken bones, body casts, and a couple surgeries that kept me out of commission until my family moved to Florida. So, I always say that I started playing gold my freshman year of high school. I improved quickly—actually, my second year playing, I finally broke 80 by shooting 69 in the Florida State Junior Girls Championship! I won the Florida State High School Championship the first year I qualified for State and then went to play my college golf at the University of Miami (Florida). It was a thrill playing for Miami as we were one of the top-ranked programs at the time. After graduating, I took a break from golf and went on a summer Christian Missions trip to Kenya. It was a life-changing summer! When I came back, I turned pro and played on the Futures Tour, the Central Florida Challenge Tour and the Pacific Coast Tour. Some of my favorite and cherished friendships were made playing golf!
I really feel like God has used a lot of different people in my life at different times to encourage, challenge and support me at different times in my professional life.
My first pro, Phil Darbyshire, instilled a strong belief in me that I could reach any goal I set my mind to. He dreamed bigger for me than I even knew possible. Jennifer Gaddy and Nora McGuire were two of the best bosses and mentors in the business anyone could ask for. Peggy Kirk Bell, Annette Thompson, Suellen Northup and Carol Johnson, to name a few, have had a huge impact on me as a teacher. Lynn Parkes and Craig Waryan have been amazing mentors in the coaching world for me. I could not talk about those who’ve had a significant impact on my life without mentioning my mom and dad! My parents were always my biggest fans and without their unconditional love and support, I would not be where I am today.
You are very active in the LPGA. If someone is new or not very active, can you give some ideas on how to break out and get involved? What is your favorite thing about the LPGA?
Finding a mentor and then becoming a mentor is one of the best ways to get involved and grow as a professional. Playing in section and national events is fantastic way to get to know other professionals. Since I am passionate about learning, I love attending every teaching seminar I can. I’m so glad we are doing the LPGA National Teaching and Coaching Summits—they are an awesome time for networking and professional growth. One of my favorite things about the LPGA is the passion of our members to impact others lives through golf! Plus there is such a great wealth of experience and expertise among our membership, and I love that our members are always willing to help each other.
What are your goals, aspirations, ect . . . as a golf professional?
My goal as a teaching professional is to help my students reach their potential on the golf course, but more importantly to make a difference and touch their lives. It is such a blessing for me when I can relate life lessons to golf whether I’m teaching kids or adults. I really enjoy mentoring youngster, college golfers, and young professionals, and its my passion to positively impact their lives. That is probably the reason why I love being a Site Director for the LPGA Girls Golf Club of Lakeville. MN—it is a great way to give back to a game that has given me so many opportunities!
I’ve worked at various clubs in Florida, including: University Park Golf and Country Club, Palm Aire Country Club, Pelican Pointe Golf Club, TPC Prestancia, Venice Golf and Country Club, and as an instructor at Ben Sutton Golf School for 9 years.
In Minnesota, I’ve worked as a teaching professional at several clubs, including: Phalen Park Golf Club, North Oaks Golf Club, Baker National Golf Club, Oak Ridge CC, and Mulligan Masters Practice Facility.
I’ve also served as the assistant Women’s Golf Coach at the University of Minnesota, the Head Women’s Golf Coach at Augsburg College (Minnesota), and the Head Women’s Golf Coach at the University of Memphis (Tennessee).
I conducted my Amaizing Golf Schools in Iceland for a couple weeks each summer for 4 years and designed the country’s first instruction manual that was translated into Icelandic.
I’ve been teaching the LPGA Golf Clinics for Women around the country since the mid-90’s and have been a guest instructor for Peggy Kirk Bell’s Women’s Only Golfairs in Southern Pines, North Carolina since the late-90’s.
I currently teach in Florida during the winters and at Crystal Lake Golf Club in Minnesota during the summers, plus I am currently the Assistant Men’s and Women’s Golf Coach at Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota during the Fall Season.
One of the fun things I get to do is TV Golf Tips for QCCO’s Rosen Sports Sunday Show every week in March for the last several years.
What is something unique about you that you would like us to know? Passions, hobbies, etc . . . outside of golf?
My hobbies include fishing, all sports, hiking, being in the woods or at the beach watching a sunset and photography. My greatest passion revolved around my faith and influences everything I do. I love working with youth and have been actively involved with speaking and teaching at FCA high school and college groups as well as FCA Golf Camps throughout the country. One of the most rewarding and challenging things I’ve ever done is go on a summer missions trio to Kenya—it was truly life-changing and made my faith come alive in ways I never could have imagined.