Why did you choose to pursue the US College pathway over other potential pathway options?
Playing against some of the best amateurs in the world while earning a degree – potentially for free on a scholarship? An absolute no brainer for me. Also, if you want to explore other options in life – other than golf – it’s a perfect opportunity to study or do some internships during breaks. Beyond that, you’re giving yourself the independence to grow – as a golfer and as a person – with the support of a coach and team. It’s a huge learning experience either way!
How were you recruited (Contacted directly by US Coaches, did my own recruiting, utilised a Recruitment Agency)?
I played in the Junior World’s tournament in San Diego every summer (or our winter) ever since I was 13 – so that gave me lots of exposure directly by US coaches. I personally was recruited at that tournament when I was about 16/17 (year 11/12) and the final year I was there, Coach Ria Scott asked me to come onto campus to visit. I fell in love with the place, program and coach – the rest was history.
What were your greatest memories of being a Student/Athlete at US College?
Travelling to every single golf tournament in my four years at college all around the USA & even the world… I was able to experience multiple cultures and food (if you know me, I’m an absolute foodie). Some fun places included: Stanford & San Fransisco, Spain (Barcelona & Madrid), Paris, New Orleans (during Mardi Gras & All-Star weekend), Hawaii (Nanea GC) and so many more places I definitely have missed out on this list.
Being part of a team. My teammates were my sisters and family, and meeting other student-athletes. It’s so amazing to witness other athletes who are at the top of their respective sports.
NIKE CHRISTMAS! I was so lucky to be at a school not only sponsored by Nike – but where the founders of Nike were born out of. Each year we’d be welcomed back to campus with a whole new kit of gear (clothes, shoes, hats, the whole SHA-BANG). Even better is if you made it to Nationals, you’d be given more swag!
Living in a household of 6 girls! Woah, what an experience it was to be living by yourself, but better yet – with more sisters to have fun with and meeting an American sweetheart who has now moved back to Australia with me 😉
What were some of the challenges you faced during your time at US College? How did you overcome these challenges?
Being away from home. I made sure I went back each year to visit my friends and family back down under.
Being away from a technical coach. I made sure I was prepared before I left for college with a list of drills based on my tendencies. Whenever I came back home, I always checked in with my coach. Shoutout to Gaz Barter!
The blend of study/leisure and your sporting craft – you may just want to focus on turning pro, but ALWAYS explore other options. For the sake of passion and finding an identity beyond your sport – even if that’s who you want to be (a golfer), there’s always something else out there you need to discover or turn to when you need a break.
How did US College prepare you for your career?
I felt beyond prepared to go out into the real world after college.
WORK CAREER ROUTE: My major in the school of Journalism and Communications expanded my knowledge of creativity and marketing (originally enrolled in Business School to focus in Marketing) and taught me about a whole new industry I had preconceived notions about – Advertising. Nevertheless, I learned so much more about advertising – and marketing as a whole, which had me thinking of potential jobs I’d like to take on should pro golf not be my go to. I built a website with a gun resume, I learned how to brand myself and I found out what different avenues of ‘work-life’ I’d like to try. I was fortunate enough to intern at Nike HQ in Beaverton, Oregon during my summer break before senior year. This was my first ever “job” and a pivotal moment in shifting my career mindset to something other than golf.
Long story short – my major, paired with an opportunity to intern at a renowned organization – prepared me well to venture off into the real world.
PRO GOLF ROUTE: College golf will prepare you so well should you wish to go down the professional route. You play at some of the biggest collegiate and amateur tournaments in the world against some of the most elite players. That exposure is priceless. Additionally, the routine, structure and discipline college sports instills within you as a person – from practice to workouts to education – is something that prepares you as a person beyond college – be it professional golfing or otherwise.
What advice/tips/recommendations would you provide to anybody considering going to US College?
Four things I would tell an Aussie golfer considering going to the states for college:
- Don’t limit yourself to schools you think are “the best” – i.e. look beyond the top 10-20 schools. I would focus on the power 5 conferences as your starting point. If it’s a big football or basketball school, you’ll generally reap some fun benefits as a golfer!
- Look at the head coach – he or she will be your primary contact and go-to person; so make sure you trust them! – and they’re the vision for the program.
- The overall program (history and potential) – again where has the team been and where do you see them heading? Look at your potential teammates.
- Go for a visit. Check out the facilities, the perks, the benefits of being a student-athlete.