Chasing my dreams one shot at a time
I have some life updates to share, starting with my decision to stop playing professional golf.
Unfortunately, I did not earn back LPGA status at the Qualifying Series in November. Facing a step down to the Symetra Tour or a long string of Monday Qualifiers, it was time to reevaluate.
To start, after difficult and honest introspection, I don’t believe my game is where it needs to be to enjoy the life I want on the LPGA Tour. Through twenty-four LPGA events, my best weeks gave me middle of the pack finishes; my average weeks were missing cuts. I feel both pride and dismay to be here: proud to have worked my way up to this vantage point, but discouraged to recognize the gap that remains between myself and the next tier of players. The next tier of competitors are contending on their best weeks and finishing in the middle of the pack on their average weeks. The harsh reality is that this is the only level on the women’s side of the game that allows one to make a comfortable living and retain some job security.
Couldn’t I continue to improve, though? Potentially. Many players don’t peak until their early thirties (if their financial and family decisions allow them to get that far). And like I said before: I’ve only played twenty-four events. It’s not uncommon for a player to earn her first win after playing one hundred. Under the right guidance, there is still room for growth in my game. Yet… I am also acutely aware of my shortcomings. I know how wide the chasm looms between a few good weeks and enjoying a sustainable career. I also understand the reality of what’s necessary to make even one significant long-term improvement.
I have been climbing this mountain for a long time. I’ve spent my life assessing the next peak, plotting and preparing, falling off, getting back up. I’m incredibly proud of how far I have made it. But now, when I look up at the peak in front of me, I don’t feel like climbing anymore.
Frankly, I’ve never viewed myself as talented at golf. “Talent” to me suggests something you are born with, an ability that comes easily. I’ve had to work incredibly hard for every golf skill I’ve acquired. The one thing I believe I was born with, that does come as naturally as breathing, is grit. I’ve somehow always managed to rise to the occasion when my career demanded it because I’ve had an extra reserve of will— a little voice inside that has wanted to succeed at golf so badly it hurts. However, the last month leading up to Q-Series and the tournament itself felt different. I wanted to make it, yes. But when I sat alone with my thoughts, the fire wasn’t there. My little voice wasn’t screaming anymore.
Without this spark, the inner drive that knows nothing will get in my way, I don’t feel right continuing to play. Far too many obstacles present themselves in professional golf (or any dream for that matter) to be able to succeed without a strong “why.” Despite still loving the game and even the tour lifestyle, I know going in half-heartedly would only be setting myself up for failure.
I am so grateful for the relationships, adventures, and lessons professional golf has afforded me— most of which I’ve shared here with you over the years. There was so much value in all of my ups and downs: the joy of traveling the world; the sweetness of victory after a missed cut; satisfaction in progress; qualities known to cherish after a revolving door of caddies and coaches; meaningful connections made with former strangers; how to stay strong mentally and physically; even where to book the cheapest rental car or flight. I can’t imagine a more fun way to learn some of life’s most important lessons.
There have been a couple other exciting developments in my life, too: my fiancé Steve accepted a new job in San Francisco, and we have moved to the city together. And yes, I said fiancé (!). While vacationing to Switzerland in December, he proposed and I happily said yes.
As for what I will do next… I’m not sure! I am excited to create a new career, I just don’t know what that will be yet. Golf remains my greatest passion, but I am ready to develop some other passions, too. I am open to hearing any ideas and making connections in the Bay Area!
Thank you all for following along the last six years. While the original purpose of this blog was simply to keep my investors informed on the progress of my career, I think the exercise of stopping to gather my thoughts into a cohesive letter every so often ended up being as beneficial for me as it was for anyone else. And whether you were a sponsor, playing partner, competitor, host family, coach, caddie, spectator, or simply a reader of this blog— thank you! I’m eternally grateful for each helping hand along the way.
An inside look at my journey in professional golf
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