The life of a pro golfer; What I would have told my younger self part 1
Posted on 29 November 2015
My progression from junior golf to college to the pros was pretty standard; descent junior golfer (good enough to get scouted on the driving range one day and offered a full scholarship to the University of Central Arkansas), well above average golfer at college winning 5 collegiate events(4 of which coming in my senior year), winning my provincial championship twice and qualifying for the most prestigious amateur event in the world, the U.S Women's Amateur. I was always told by my head golf professional dad "be the best at every level and you can make it on tour". I always believed with every ounce of my being that I would one day be playing and winning on the LPGA, and from the moment I moved to Arkansas and started my college career that was all I thought about. I literally woke up everyday excited to get to the driving range and went to bed every night thinking about how great the next day was going to be. I can pinpoint the exact moment this all changed... It was my final semester at university and I was just coming off another win with only one more event left before turning professional, I was hitting balls on the range and the driving range pro came over to me and in passing says "you're gonna need to hit it higher to make it on the LPGA tour". Up until that moment I had never thought about manipulating anything in my swing, I hit the ball pretty low but I knew exactly where it was going and at what yardage it was going to land, I was an extremely smart player on the course and always played the ball flight that naturally came to me. I am not sure why but I really took this comment to heart and started dreaming about hitting the ball higher and truly believed that was what I needed to do. Needless to say I lost all confidence I had on the course and my ball striking went down hill fast, I went from owning my golf swing, looking at the target and swinging, to having no idea where the ball was going and hoping that it went straight in a period of weeks, all of this happening while I was raising funds to turn professional later that spring.
Tune in next week for what happened next...
Nicole Mendelman - Former touring pro