- When did you begin playing golf and how did you learn?
I began playing golf at the age of two and started playing competitively by the age of seven. When I was younger, my dad would always take me out to the golf course with him, and I would hit balls or chip and putt while he practiced. My dad saw that the game came naturally to me, so he nurtured that ability and has been my coach ever since.
- Tell me about one of your most treasured lessons on the golf course?
There are so many wonderful lessons to be learned through the game of golf, but my favorite so far has to be about perseverance. I originally learned about perseverance through The First Tee program. It is an extremely important trait to have on and off the golf course, because life is like golf in that there are so many things that are out of your control. On the golf course, you may get a bad bounce, a not so preferred lie, or stuck playing behind a slow group. Bad breaks happen on the golf course all the time, and you have to be able to persevere through those, get back on track, and move on. As in life, when bad things happen you must persevere and move on. Thomas Edison said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
- What have you learned about yourself through the game of golf?
The most important thing I’ve learned is how to be patient. The more I played golf the more I realized that I am a bit of an impatient person. Golf taught me how to slow down and take each shot as it comes. Similar to life, you have to slow down take each moment as it comes.
- What do you enjoy most about the game of golf?
I enjoy golf for many reasons. One of them is that there is no “right” way to play the game, everyone has a unique swing. Additionally; I am fascinated by golf because it is such an intellectual game. Unlike other sports that require speed, golf is about playing smart and thinking through many different aspects of each individual shot. And lastly, my favorite part about the game is getting to be outdoors. Nothing beats a sunny day on the course.
- What are your plans for after high school?
This fall I will be attending Eastern Washington University to play golf for them. I’ll be majoring in journalism. After achieving a bachelor’s degree from EWU I will pursue my dream of playing professional golf.
- What advice would you give beginning golfers looking to take up the sport?
Have fun with it! While golf can be a serious sport, never take it so seriously that you stop enjoying it. Learn from your mistakes, have fun, and be thankful you have the opportunity to play such a great sport!
- What has been the greatest lesson you have learned by participating in Oregon Junior Golf?
I have learned that golf is not a game of perfection. I am more or less a “perfectionist” in almost everything I do (golf, school, CrossFit, etc.). By playing tournament golf through the OJG, I have learned that not every shot is going to be perfect. Ben Hogan claimed he only hit one or two perfect shots per round, and he is absolutely right. Golf is merely a game of how small your misses are.
- What is your favorite golf course in the Pacific Northwest?
There are many gorgeous golf courses in the PNW, but my favorite has to be Tokatee Golf Club in McKenzie Bridge, Oregon. I love the outdoors, (camping, hiking, fishing, snowmobiling, etc.) so I feel right at home since Tokatee is in the mountains away from the hustle and bustle of the city. If I’m looking for a course a little closer to home, I always go out to Diamond Woods in Monroe, Oregon. Similar to Tokatee, it is surrounded by the outdoors I love.
- What has been the highlight of your golf career?
The highlight of my golf career was playing in the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach back in 2014. Having that opportunity (along with many other opportunities) gave me the chance to learn from– and play side-by-side with– some of the best and wisest golfers known to the game. Not only did I get to play with golfers on the senior PGA tour, I was able to make new friends, reunite with old friends I met at other First Tee events, listen to guest speakers, and play golf on one of the best courses in the world!