Big Break Ireland Competitor
Hometown: Longmont, Colo.
Current Residence: Thornton, Colo.
College: University of Oklahoma
Home Course: Omni Interlocken
Profession: Golf Professional
“Smile and the world smiles back at you.” That is the 2011 Kelly Jacques, a shining personality on and off the golf course. But for the longest time, she was the complete opposite. Jacques had a temper on the golf course, and she knew it.
“Golf is a tough sport. It can beat you down both emotionally and physically,” explained Jacques. “Growing up, I developed a pretty bad temper on the course. My anger, frustration, disappointment and emotions would get the better of me from time to time literally to the point where I took it out on myself physically. “
Her temper on the course began to flare up in eighth grade, getting increasingly worse as she went through high school. She hit rock bottom her junior year of high school, and realized she finally had had enough. She needed to face her demons head-on to try to right the ship.
“I feel like with every addiction, you are always going to struggle with it for the rest of your life. But, if you are determined enough, it’s never going to be an issue anymore.”
Through the support of her friends in high school, her teammates at the University of Oklahoma and her family, she found the vehicle that ultimately turned her life around. She found faith.
“It was truly a blessing for me, in so many ways,” said Jacques. “I was able to look at myself with open eyes for the first time and face my demons head on. I knew that I had to make a significant change in my life, as I was getting to the point where I was scared at the road I was going down.”
Following graduation from Oklahoma in 2009, she quit competitive golf altogether. Hanging up the golf clubs was a tough decision for her. But she knew in order to get her life back on track, she needed to take a step back and not allow the stresses of golf to control her. Jacques found a new, fresh outlook on life.
Time away from golf was the best decision she made. Her faith grew stronger. The stresses that she put on herself for so many years were gone. The temper was no longer there. After several months at a full-time job, however, she found herself practicing her golf swing in the mirror without realizing she was doing it. Her desire to get back on the golf course began to blossom. After a lot of soul searching, she decided to give professional golf a fresh start, complete with a new outlook.
Fast forward to 2011. Jacques is competing on the LPGA Futures Tour but is not sure how many events she will be able to compete in this year due to finances. However, she is smiling every step of the way.
“I finally realized that God’s will for my life is so much greater than any of my selfish desires. I have to let go of all of my fears and insecurities about the future and just know that He always has and always will be by my side, guiding me through this unbelievable journey.”
Jacques initially applied for Big Break Ireland to help her achieve that next step in her golf career. What she didn’t realize was that she would also accomplish something so much more – she opened up for the first time about her past.
“Big Break has always been about changing careers and changing lives,” said Jacques. “It certainly did for me. If I can help just one person by finally opening up about my past, then it is all worth it.”
Win or lose on Big Break Ireland, Kelly Jacques already has won the biggest battle of her life.
Watch Kelly's Video Bio.