Oftentimes, people ask me why I am so passionate about helping my students.
Please allow me to tell you a bit about my story.
I grew up in Sweden, and when I was about 7 years old my father introduced me and my older sister to golf. My love for golf grew as my father and I spent more time together and I developed a deeper passion for the game. At the age of twelve, I knew I wanted to become a professional golfer.
As a little girl growing up in a cold climate, the opportunities to play year round were limited. However, when I saw Swedish female pro Liselott Neumann on TV win the U.S. Women’s Open, I realized the only real obstacles were those in my head. As I got older and my skill increased, I developed a drive to compete. I found I really enjoyed the competitive atmosphere when playing in tournaments. My dad didn't coach me much- but he had to tell me numerous times to keep my cool when I made a mistake. I'm glad he did because when I learned to do that I started to win! I also loved the preparation before a tournament, and the methodical process of executing my game plan.
When I was fifteen years old, I was selected for the first time to represent Sweden in a junior event outside London. This event further sparked my passion to work hard. When I turned eighteen, I was ranked #1 in my age group and was offered golf scholarships to Oklahoma State and San Jose State University. I hadn’t been to either place but was more keen to go to school in California, and so I choose San Jose State. Apart from the Cosby Show and Beverly Hills 90210, I didn’t know much about the US. Today, I laugh about how little I knew about going to college in America.
After college, I turned pro and went to qualifying school. It didn’t go so well. I only got into a couple of events that first year, and since I didn’t make any money I couldn’t afford to play any more. So I got a job and continued to work on my game. Two years later I got another chance and had better results at q-school. I knew I needed backing, and I was fortunate to be able to raise enough money to pay for entry fees, travel, lodging and food. I reached my dream of playing professionally, and I traveled around the U.S for three years playing in tournaments on the Futures Tour (now Symetra Tour), which is the developmental tour of the L.P.G.A.
At the end of 2009, I ran out of motivation and money at the same time. The truth was that I was really struggling with my game and I wasn't happy about just playing to make the cut every week- but that is what I did. I tried to change coaches and it didn’t work. I didn’t get the result I wanted; my game actually got worse. I didn’t know what to do to get better. I was mostly frustrated about my iron game. My worst stat was greens in regulation. It is hard to break par when you are averaging 10 greens a round and spending a lot of energy on trying to get the ball up and down.
So I got a job as an Assistant Golf Professional at Blackhawk Country Club and I started devoting myself to becoming a teacher. I knew that players rarely make great coaches, so I started to study everything I could. I began to go to seminars and workshops on golf fitness and junior golf. I also finished my LPGA Class A certification I had started a few years earlier.
It wasn’t until I came across TrackMan in a seminar that I began to understand why I wasn't improving. I wish I had had access to that kind of information when I was playing! I learned why my swing didn’t hold up so well under pressure, and why I always missed my shots left. It was such a relief. I had been trying to cure my swing with the wrong medication. TrackMan has been a great tool providing me the data to intimately know my swing. When I play golf now, I don’t get frustrated because I know my tendencies really well and I can correct my error on the next shot.
At the heart, my passion to learn has been the driving factor to perform at a professional level. Now I feel fortunate to share my knowledge and experience about golf with my students so they can achieve more consistent results.
If you got this far, thank you for reading and allowing me to share my story!
Harvey Penick used to say: If you play golf, you are my friend.
I'll say the same.