Current Residence: Jupiter, Fla.
Hometown: Everett, Wash.
Home Golf Courses: Everett Golf & Country Club, Everett, Wash.; Fox Club, Palm City, Fla.
College: University of Idaho
Big Break Season: Big Break Florida – Semi-finalist
Since Competing on Big Break: Professional Golfer currently competing on the Symetra Tour. Received a medical exemption in 2014 due to a neck injury.
BIG BREAK FLORIDA BIO
-Winner of the 2002 Washington State 4A High School Golf Championship
-Winner of the 2003 Pacific Northwest Golf Association's Junior Girls
-Winner of the 2004 Pacific Northwest Golf Association's Women's Amateur
- Winner of the 2005 Washington State Women's Amateur
- Recorded 21 top-10 finishes, including four victories, at University of Idaho.
-Competed in her first full season on the Symetra Tour in 2013, making 8 of 15 cuts with a best T-25 finish
-Two victories on the Suncoast Tour (2011, 2012)
Unlike many of Renée’s fellow competitors on Big Break Florida who knew from an early age they wanted play professional golf, the thought did not cross Renée’s mind until her first collegiate tournament at the University of Idaho as a Freshman.
“I remember thinking, ‘Hey, I just won. If I can keep this up for the next four years, maybe I just might have a shot as a professional,’” recalled Renée.
Renée was introduced to the game at age 3 by her father. Golf, however, was not her first love. Her father also introduced her to ice skating at an early age, and she was a junior competitive figure skater.
After an accident breaking her ankle in practice at age 10, she hung up her skates and transitioned to golf. Six months after taking her first lesson from Kevin Mackay, she competed in her first junior tournament, taking third place. She was hooked.
A few years later, at age 14, she was introduced to golf coach, Mike Adams, when she enrolled in Jeff Coston's golf camp in Blaine, Washington. Mike took her under his wing during her high school years, developing her golf swing and preparing her for collegiate golf. She was recruited by several Division I schools, and signed with the University of Idaho.
On paper, her college career was solid: Four victories and 21 top-10 finishes. However, after early success during her freshman and sophomore years, she admits that her heart wasn’t fully into the game for the remainder of her college career.
“I thought seriously about quitting the team and just hanging it up altogether,” recalled Renée. “There was considerable drama experienced in my final two years, it was so overwhelming.”
She graduated from Idaho in 2008, and moved to Colorado with her then-boyfriend and started working at Country Club of the Rockies for the summer. She had plans to go to Q-School for the Symetra Tour (then the Futures Tour), but she was burned out on the competition from college.
That summer, she reunited with Adams, who visited the club for a clinic. During his short visit, he took time to work with Renée and her golf swing. While working together, he asked her why she wasn’t competing. She didn’t have the heart to tell him that her last two years took a toll on her.
“I remember him asking me where my head was at, and if I wanted to commit to golf or not. He told me I had what it takes to play professionally and to make money on Tour if I just got my head on straight.”
That was the first of several conversations between Mike and Renée that would change the course of her career.
She turned professional in 2009 but did not have much success, missing the cut in all Futures Tour events entered. The next two years, Renée would visit Mike for a short visit during the winter months to work on her game, move back to Ohio (where she moved to from Colorado with her then boyfriend) and compete on the mini tours, all with minimal success. At the end of 2010, while working with Mike at the Wanderer's Club in Wellington, Fla., he again asked her about her commitment to golf, and suggested moving to Florida in the winter months.
“Mike is like a second father to me, so he knows when I’m not being straightforward with him,” said Renée. “He told me I needed think hard about my future and if I wanted to commit 100% to golf, that was the only way I was going to give myself a chance.”
Several months later, after conversations with Mike, she made the decision to move to Florida for the winter. She and her boyfriend of five years ended their relationship. That same day, her grandfather – her idol and mentor – passed away.
“That was the hardest day I have ever experienced in my life,” recalled Renée.
Golf became something new for her: a source of comfort and healing. She moved to Wellington, Fla.,, in the winter of 2010 and fell back in love with the game, and began working with Mike on a consistent basis.
In 2011, she won her first professional tour event on the Suncoast Tour, and followed up with a second victory in 2012. Her game was turning the corner. In 2013, she played a full Symetra Tour schedule and experienced her best year as a professional, making 8 cuts in 15 events entered, highlighted by a 25th place finish.
Since 2011, Renée’s results on the course have improved every year. She will play on the Symetra Tour during the 2014 season and sees her goal of reaching the LPGA TOUR in sight.