Current Residence: Rochester, Wash.
Hometown: Rochester, Wash.
College: Centralia Community College
Profession: Professional Golfer, Fitness Instructor
- Two victories at Centralia Community College
- Undefeated in four years of high school competition
- Currently competing on CN Canadian Women’s Tour
“If you are in the middle of a storm, push through. It will pass and you will be stronger from it.”
When it comes to golf experience, Courtney Coleman is the underdog among her Big Break Florida competition, and she knows it. But she is a veteran of life experiences. And those experiences could bode well when she tees it up on Golf Channel’s reality competition series.
Courtney was introduced to golf by her father at age two. Golf was a hobby growing up. Her passion was, and remains, music. She was a longtime worship leader at her local church in Rochester.
“I love singing and playing the piano,” said Courtney. “There is something so peaceful about getting lost in music.”
She experienced similar peaceful feelings on the golf course growing up. When she played a round of golf with her father or participated in junior golf in her home state of Washington, she felt a sense of peace, and quickly fell in love with the game.
In high school, that sense of peace translated well to competition. She did not lose a high school match, and held the number-one position on her team through her senior season, setting records that still stand 10 years later.
Following high school, Courtney enrolled at Centralia Community College on a golf scholarship. She won two events during her freshman year, and her game was improving. She was starting to realize that she might have a future in golf.
The following year, it was all taken away from her.
Due to inaccuracies with her paperwork at Centralia, her scholarship was withdrawn. Unable to pay for college on her own, she was forced to withdraw from school. She took a job at a local golf course, hoping to save up money to re-apply or enroll at a larger school like the University of Washington, which was her dream.
“Having to leave Centralia was a tough decision for me, but I had no choice at the time,” she said. “I was hurt, but I tried to take a positive outlook on the situation and make the best of it.”
The following year, matters turned worse. She was attacked at her home golf course while playing a round of golf.
“You never think something like that is going to happen to you, and then one day, it does,” she said while recalling the incident. “He took my security away. Emotionally it left me wrecked.”
After seven years, Courtney still cannot be by herself for long periods of time before panic starts to settle in. She has yet to play a round of golf by herself since the incident. Many of her friends told her to look for a different career following the incident. Courtney started listening to her doubts and put her golf dreams on hold.
“I just lost faith and confidence in myself,” she said. “Looking back, I needed something to push me, to make me believe again.”
That something came in 2009 when Courtney was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, also known as underactive thyroid disease. Her doctors wanted to put her on powerful daily medication, but she refused. Instead, she dedicated herself to rigorous daily exercise – three hours a day, seven days a week – as well as a regimen of dietary supplements. She set goals for herself, something that she hadn’t done in several years. She worked out religiously for a year and lost 50 pounds, ultimately overcoming the condition.
This opened new doors for her, both personally and professionally. She became a certified fitness instructor and teaches fitness classes twice a week.
“Being the motivator has been extremely rewarding. Showing others that they can overcome obstacles just like I did is very gratifying for me.”
During one of her fitness classes, the subject of golf came up. She discussed her highs and lows in trying to become a professional golfer, and admitted that she wasn’t focused on trying to resume her career.
“My class looked at me like I was crazy,” she joked. “They knew about my thyroid condition, and they told me if I can put that much dedication and heart in beating that, then I definitely have what it takes to make it to the LPGA Tour.”
Fueled by that passion, she re-focused on her golf game. She turned professional in 2012, and has played in a few mini tour events and one CN Canadian Women’s Tour event. Finances are her biggest obstacle.
“I worry about it [money] all the time,” said Courtney. “I’m just trying to enjoy every moment of this journey and stay strong and patient. Doors will open.”
That door could be opening for Courtney Coleman on Big Break Florida.