Current Residence: Anderson, S.C.
Hometown: Anderson, S.C.
Home Golf Course: Starrwood Golf Course, Cobb’s Glen Country Club
Profession: Professional Golfer, Student at Tri-County Technical College
-Three-time winner of the Thomas D Todd Upperstate Championship (South Carolina Junior Golf Association.)
- Finished top-5 all four years in High School State Championships
- Winner of nine consecutive Anderson County Championships
- Holds course record at Saluda Valley Country Club (64)
Dallas Odom has a homemade golf swing. She resides from a small town in South Carolina, and has a southern drawl. She has a lot of confidence about her golf game. And she has tried – admittedly only once – to play golf with two golf gloves.
Sound familiar? It should. Dallas Odom’s idol is PGA TOUR professional and past Big Break champion Tommy Gainey.
At 18 years of age, Dallas is the youngest competitor in Big Break history. She has watched Big Break every season since she was a little girl. For Dallas, competing on Big Break was a dream of hers, and watching Gainey’s success fueled her desire to eventually apply for the series.
She just didn’t think it would be this soon.
Dallas took up the game of golf at the age of 8. Her older brother introduced her to golf, and she was instantly hooked. Her father saw her raw talent and potential, and he took up the game as well.
“My daddy and I would play golf all of the time when I was first starting out,” recalled Dallas. “I lived at the golf course. I would get out of school and go straight to Starrwood Golf Course (her original home course) and play until dark. Then on the weekends, my daddy and I would stay there all weekend long.”
Her talent on the golf course amplified in high school. She competed on the high school boys golf team, finishing top-5 in her State High School Championship all four years. She won the Thomas D Todd Upper State Championship, part of the South Carolina Junior Golf Association, three years in a row. She won numerous junior golf events and holds the course record at Saluda Valley Country Club in Williamston, S.C. with a 64.
But something wasn’t right, and Dallas knew it. She recalled her father taking the game too seriously. When she did not play well in an event, he would get angry. He was pushing her too hard, and she never understood why he got so mad at her. It is a question that she still can’t answer to this day.
As a result, in 2011, Dallas began to burn out on golf. She wasn’t enjoying the game like she used to, even though she was still competing well in high school events and junior championships. Her parents divorced in late 2012, and the father/daughter relationship that had once blossomed on the golf course was a distant memory.
“I love my daddy, but it got to the point where I was walking on eggshells, especially after I started playing golf. This whole experience taught me that whenever I have kids, I will never push them. If they don’t always succeed, I’m going to encourage them and say, ‘You got this. Go for it again.’”
2013 was Dallas’ senior year of high school. She had several offers to continue her education and playing golf in college, but it was not a direction she was ready to take. One afternoon, she and her fiancée were watching Big Break on Golf Channel, and he reminded her of her idol, Gainey. They talked about her dream of competing on Big Break one day. A light switch had turned on for Dallas.
She told her fiancée that she finally wanted to do something in golf just for her. She wanted to apply for Big Break. She confided in her high school golf coach about her aspirations, and she re-committed herself to the game. She did not have a timetable, but she “knew” this was the right time to give Big Break a shot.
Her family and golf coach help fund her travel to Phoenix in mid-2013 for an audition for Big Break. She didn’t know what to expect at the audition, but something was telling her this was the right thing to do.
One month later, she got the call. She was cast as a competitor on Big Break Florida.
“I have been through so much the past couple of years that I haven’t really focused on my golf game, just for me. Now I am, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store.”
Her father has no idea she competed on Big Break. And that is just how she wants it. Her father, and the rest of the world, will watch to see if she can follow in Gainey’s footsteps and become a Big Break champion.