Current Residence: Baton Rouge, La.
Hometown: Rochester, N.Y.
Home Golf Course: University Club, Baton Rouge, La.
College: Louisiana State University
Profession: Professional Golfer
- Currently a full time member on the Ladies European Tour
- Competed in the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open
- Finished Third Individually at the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships
Tessa Teachman’s golf career has been full of baby steps and patience.
Introduced to the game of golf by her father at 3-years-old, Teachman discovered through junior golf that she was a natural, winning her first tournament when she was 7. She also knew at a young age that she wanted to attend college at Louisiana State University. Her father attended LSU, and walked on the LSU men’s golf team.
Teachman’s stellar junior golf resume included winning multiple New York State junior amateur and PGA Junior series events. She also was a member of the 2005 Junior Ryder Cup Team, competing against Rory McIlroy.
“That was one of the greatest experiences in my life,” said Teachman. “I was able to compete with the best junior golfers in the world. That just fueled my passion for wanting to play golf in college and to eventually turn pro.”
She also learned from her parents at a young age about taking baby steps on and off the golf course in order to excel in both academics and athletics. It was in college that she would learn the true meaning of taking baby steps.
At a tournament, she injured her right wrist. Thinking it was just a temporary injury, she continued to play. The injury would go on to plague her all four years at LSU.
“My injury was one of the toughest things I ever had to go through,” said Teachman. “I had multiple doctors examine my wrist, and no one could correctly diagnose the extent of the injury.”
The pain affected her mentally and physically. She altered her golf swing to be able to endure the pain. Even with the pain, she posted great tournament scores, highlighted by finishing in third place individually at the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships her junior and senior years.
She turned pro following graduation in 2012. It was that summer when she had a career altering experience. She qualified for the 2012 U.S. Women’s Open at Blackwolf Run, and it was during a practice round where she met and played with fellow LSU alum and now fellow Big Break competitor, Katy Harris.
“Katy noticed my wrist was taped up and asked me about it during my round,” recalled Teachman. “So I explained to her my story and my pain that I had been dealing with. She then told me about the extent of her hand injury and how she shut down her career as a result for nine years. Her comeback story was amazing, and it motivated me to really focus on finally determining how to fix my wrist.”
She missed the cut at the U.S. Women’s Open by one stroke. Not deterred, the experience solidified for her that she belonged out there with the best players in the world.
Later that year, she sought another opinion from a hand specialist, as the pain had become almost too much to bear. She was diagnosed with multiple torn tendons in her right wrist. In November, she had surgery to repair the wrist, and shut down her game for four months.
“Not being able to practice or play was really challenging,” said Teachman. “But I knew this was going to be for the best. I just needed to continue to stay patient.”
She returned to practice in 2013. For the first time in over five years, she felt no pain in her golf swing. With a renewed sense of confidence, she began competing in mini tour events, including the Suncoast Tour, where she won her first tournament back following her surgery.
That fall, she entered the Ladies European Tour (LET) Q School in Morocco. She also applied for Big Break, figuring she had nothing to lose.
Little did she know that both were going to pay off with big dividends.
She led after the opening round of LET Q-School, and eventually earned full status on the Ladies European Tour for 2014. She also got the call that she would be cast on Big Break Myrtle Beach.
“To have both of those happen is a dream come true for me,” said Teachman.
With a renewed sense of confidence and her wrist fully healed, Teachman enters the Big Break competition ready to test her game.
“Big Break is going to be the stepping stone that I need,” said Teachman. “There isn’t any pressure like competing on Big Break, and I plan on taking that confidence with me out on the Ladies European Tour.”