In The Clutch: Stacy Lewis
Playing golf professionally wasn't always on the mind of Stacy Lewis. Making the transition from amateur to professional opened the eyes of the world's former No. 1 golfer, and she said she's had to adjust to the many responsibilities that come with playing on the LPGA Tour.
"Golf for me kind of came in the picture ... I was probably 7 or 8. My dad played and I would just tag along with him and it was more of just having fun with my dad. I didn't want to be a professional golfer or anything like that and as I got older, it became a means for college and my dad told me I needed to get a scholarship.
"It wasn't until probably my junior year of college [at Arkansas], after I won the national championship, that I said I could be a professional golfer. It didn't enter my mind until that point. Everyone thought I would leave after that year and turn pro early, but I loved being in college so I wasn't leaving any time soon. And, I don't know, I loved being an amateur and I just loved playing golf and playing it for a living never really was in the back of my mind, at all.
"Going from amateur to a pro was, it was a strange feeling. You know, it really wasn't a big celebration. You know, the only difference is that you enter a tournament, you check being a professional instead of an amateur, so it really wasn't that big of a difference. I don't think I really realized how much it entailed though, until my full first rookie year on tour. When you go to pro-am parties, you do pro-am, you do extra events, you do media ... and I didn't realize all that went into being a professional athlete.
"The first year on tour was tough for me. I didn't realize how much it entailed. All the extra things that we do ... it was tough because you have to learn how to balance your time. How to know how much practice you need and how much time you need to spend at the golf course putting? How much you need to spend chipping and also leaving time to do sponsor events and pro-ams, and it's a lot of time management -- which going to college definitely helped that. You know, in college you had to learn how.
"So it's a lot of time management and I realize now that you need a lot of people around you to help you be successful. And I'm pretty fortunate that I did that pretty well. I have a great team. I have my parents of course, they're kind of the first people I go to. I have great agents and I have my swing coach, Joe Hallett. I have a trainer, David Donatucci, and I still talk to my college coaches whenever I need a little kind of a pep talk or how to handle a certain situation. I do talk to them as well, so I just have a lot of good people that I can call when I need advice."