Like every year, 2021 was full of unforeseen opportunities and challenges. In January, when I was a senior at Wake Forest University, I decided not to turn professional. During this time, I was experiencing performance anxiety on the course and understood I needed something more than my golf game with which to identify.
I put golf on hold to explore and learn new skills. This opened two incredible opportunities: I became a writer for Golf Channel, where I highlighted and continue to highlight stories on the LPGA and amateur golf, and I applied for graduate school at Wake Forest to get my masters in communication.
Working for Golf Channel has allowed me to step outside of my own golf world and capture other player's stories. Graduate school has given me a newfound appreciation for learning, that requires an admirable level of dedication similar to how I train in golf.
The beautiful part in putting "golf on hold," was that every day I found myself wandering to the golf facility. It showed to me that I hadn’t lost the drive to improve my skills and, more importantly, it demonstrated that I still loved the game more than anything, after giving myself the freedom to enjoy other activities.
During this period, I thought about using my COVID eligibility year during my second year of graduate school. After some exciting conversations with my coaches, Kim Lewellen and Ryan Potter, the decision was final – I am coming back to play golf at Wake Forest!
While I admire and respect all professional athletes, I love amateur golf and will not turn professional. Saying that, I thought there was nothing better than capitalizing on another year of college golf with a team, coaches and university that I love. This week I am playing the Symetra Tour's Carolina Golf Classic in Greensboro, North Carolina, and I couldn’t be more excited to get the competitive juices flowing again.
Having this year of self-development and broadening my perspective on life was the essential reason why I am able to look forward to an amazing year next fall and simultaneously appreciate where I am today.