Big Break Ireland Competitor
Hometown: Rockingham, N.C.
Current Residence: Greenville, S.C.
Home Course: Verdict Ridge Golf Club
College: Florida State University
Current Profession: Golf Professional
Whitney Wright has a source of inspiration as she heads into Big Break Ireland. Her boyfriend is Big Break Indian Wells competitor Robbie “Shank” Biershenk.
“Robbie came back from Big Break Indian Wells a different person,” joked Wright. “He always had an intense passion for the game, but something about his experience on the show changed him.”
Due to confidentiality rules, Wright had no idea how Biershenk fared, and she joked that he loved watching the series with her every week.
“I couldn’t get a lot of insight from Robbie, because he wasn’t allowed to talk about the series,” said Wright. “But to see his transformation from before and after the series, from all of the weight he lost, to his renewed vigor for pursuing his dreams of playing on the PGA TOUR. It fueled my excitement and passion to compete and showcase my talents on Big Break Ireland.”
Golf was not the first sport in which Wright was competitive growing up. Gymnastics was her first love, performing at the state level until the age of 14.
“Gymnastics was great for me in terms of the competitive nature. I loved the fact that it was an individual sport where all the pressure relied on me. When I started focusing on golf, I used my experience in gymnastics and took that to the course.”
Golf is in Whitney’s family genes. She is a distant relative of Sam Snead, and was introduced to the game by her father and grandfather at the age of eight. She was too petite for a normal set of clubs, so they cut down adult clubs to fit her physique.
When she defeated her father in nine holes at the age of 12, she knew right then that golf was her sport.
Wright excelled in golf throughout high school, helping her team earn the North Carolina State Championship in her junior and senior years. She won the individual medalist honors her senior year at the state championship and also played on junior circuits, accumulating several victories.
Heavily recruited out of high school, Wright selected Florida State University. Florida State was a big adjustment for Wright. Her father was the only golf coach she had known, and without his teachings she developed some bad habits in her swing. She had five, top-five finishes in college, but did not perform nearly as well as she would have hoped.
By the time she graduated, Wright was nearly burned out on golf. She went through initial struggles on the course after turning professional and living several months in Norway. She competed on the Scandinavian Tour with little success. After returning to the U.S., she was determined to get her life and golf career back on track.
In 2011, she is competing on the LPGA Futures Tour. To supplement her income in between tournaments, she has taken a chapter out of her father’s book. She competes in local charitable competitions on the golf course. It was at one of these competitions where she met Biershenk.
She had been toying with the idea of applying for Big Break in the past. Biershenk convinced her to apply after he finished filming Big Break Indian Wells, because he knew she had the heart and fierce competitiveness to win Big Break.
Wright’s dream is to compete on the LPGA Tour and to use her experiences to encourage young women they can excel in any sport regardless of their size.
“You know what they say, dynamite comes in small packages,” says Wright.
She is proud of her boyfriend’s success, but now on Big Break Ireland, it is her turn.
Watch Whitney's Video Bio.