Here are words from the 2023 scholarship award winners:
Penn State University
"The summer of my 7th grade year, I decided I wanted to go out for the caddy program at a local club, like the boys at my bus stop…I was only 1 of 3 female caddies that year. Caddying was only the start of my love and passion for the game of golf. Golf has pushed me outside my comfort zone, exposed me to different sides of the industry and introduced me to many of my mentors."
Belmont University TN
"Playing collegiate golf has been a dream of mine ever since I started playing tournaments at 11 years old. Being a student athlete is harder than I expected. Collegiate golf involves many hours of travel in a van or bus followed by nights in hotels after long days on the course….and I have had to become creative with studying habits. I spend many van rides writing essays, reviewing flashcards, watching pre-recorded lectures and reading course materials and doing homework. These experiences have prepared me for my advanced studies in pharmacy. My goal is to one day own my own pharmacy – and I am once again, willing to put in the hard work and make the necessary sacrifices to achieve that goal."
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
"With education in my sights for my career, my goals in golf are to continue to be involved as a volunteer coach for First Tee Pittsburgh. For all of the opportunities they have given, I want to be able to give back and teach the next generation of golfers."
"Not only have I been consumed with playing the sport, but it is now the central focus of my college education. I am studying Marketing with a concentration in Professional Golf Management. I love being at a golf course, even if I’m not playing. I love the beauty of being outside, the smell of fresh cut fairways and the sun on me when I am swinging. I feel at ease on the course. And because of the game, I have acquired lifelong friends, met prominent people and have gained adult mentors who have been so influential to me and who have given me life experiences that I will always treasure. Golf has taught me the power of perseverance, being confident and how important it is to never give up."
University of Georgia
"My mom discovered I had a gift for golf at the age of four and a half years old. Every day I would ask her to take me to the range to hit balls. Where we lived, there were not many opportunities to play or play in tournaments, and I never felt challenged in the game. When I was 14 years old, I attended Vision 54 in San Diego. It improved my mindset and motivated me to work harder….I am attending the University of Georgia studying engineering and finance, and playing collegiate golf."
Penn State University, Altoona
"I enjoy the game of golf because it really does teach a person patience, inner strength and self-confidence. I was not a patient athlete and wanted to do well with little work, and I became frustrated easily. Golf taught me that practice and preparation are important…and will increase your chances of winning…and you can still miss an easy putt and win. Golf gives you the opportunity to shake off bad shots, regroup and try again. I learned to not give up, remain calm and keep on going. I am studying engineering at Penn State. I am aware of the challenges of ahead as a female in a predominantly male field – yet I know my experiences and involvement in golf (and sports) has helped me prepare for such challenges."
University of California, Berkley
"I am a 41 year old college student from Oakland CA. Golf has not only become a passion, but it has also become a catalyst for personal growth and has allowed me to overcome social anxiety in a way that I had never thought possible. The sport’s inherent challenges taught me valuable lessons in resilience, patience and effective communication. These lessons translated beyond the golf course and into my everyday life, empowering me to approach social situations with renewed confidence. I am pursuing a major in Legal Studies – with intentions of becoming a voice and advocate for those who are often unheard or left behind, as well as becoming a catalyst for meaningful reforms that have an impact on social change."
Throughout my life, there has been one common thread that has introduced me to wonderful people, provided me with a moral compass and taught me integrity and sportsmanship -while challenging me at every turn. That one common thread has been the game of golf. While there are many facets to the game, there are three specific elements that have had an impact on my life:
Here are words from the 2022 scholarship award winner applications:
Penn State University
"In the summer of my 7th grade year I decided to go out for the caddy program, like the boys at my bus stop. Caddying was only the start of my love and passion for the game of golf. It pushed me outside my comfort zone, exposed me to different sides of the golf industry and introduced me to many of my mentors. I really started to love the game when I started playing. I am a firm believer that golf should not only be accessible to people who are good at the game, but also to people who simply enjoy it. Receiving the GALS scholarship will allow me to attend Penn State University for Professional Golf Management and support me as a female in the golf industry."
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
"My first 18 holes of life are coming to a close, but as I prepare for the next round I know my goals. They consist of college, starting a career, continuing to volunteer in my community, and growing as a person and a golfer. I will start my freshman year at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where I will major in Early Childhood and Special Education. I would like to be a high school golf coach and teach about the rules and proper etiquette on and off the course. When high school golf is out of season, I will encourage team members to partner with Special Education students to come and golf with us, so we can have a unified golf team. I hope to encourage and help students reach their fullest potential as my coaches have helped me."
Muskegon Community College
"While I grew up playing many sports, none were as challenging or as frustrating for me as golf. I wanted to be good right away, but I found that it doesn't really work like that when playing golf. During my junior year of high school I worked in the cart barn at a golf course, where I washed and staged the carts. I was promoted to the pro-shop where I made tee times, answered the phone and checked in golfers. My involvement in golf, both as a player and as a golf course employee has encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone, try new things and meet new people. I truly feel that my involvement in golf has better prepared me for my next steps in life. Golf is so much more than a game to me, it is an opportunity to learn, to grow, and to achieve great things!"
University of St. Thomas (MN)
"I am a junior at the University of St. Thomas, majoring in Accounting. My first two years of school I attended the University of North Dakota. The main reason I am applying for this scholarship is to relieve some financial stress from transferring schools. The new school and golf team check all the boxes: great school, close to home, amazing alumni network and a team of girls that I knew were close and supported, not only in their golf careers but their life journeys as well. I am so thankful to get a second chance and to be appreciated on a team that has great goals, and most importantly is led by a coach who I can look up to and go to when I am struggling in anything and everything."
University of Charleston (WV)
"I have been playing golf since I was six years old and have been competing since I was twelve. I was recruited to the University of Charleston to play on their women's golf team, and I was determined to bring my best. I dedicate many hours to practicing and improving. As a Biology/ pre-pharmacy major, my end goal is to one day own my own practice where I can work one-on-one with patients to customize their medications, coupled with the proper nutrition and exercise, so they can live their best quality of life. I have a sign in my dorm room that reads: “You get what you work for, not what you wish for”. I am willing to put in the work to succeed, and will work incredibly hard to make you proud for choosing to invest in me."
"Golf has taught me a lot of core values such as perseverance, good sportsmanship, and always to reach for the stars. I am determined to grow at the sport, and I love all the people I have met. One thing this game has taught me is that people from all over can enjoy the same thing and understand each other. The game of golf is one of skill and patience. I am continuing to play golf in college at Bucknell University while majoring in Biology so as to become a doctor. It has been a dream of mine to be able to help and impact others in a positive way. Hopefully someday I will create something that can help others in need. I can't wait for what the future will hold. I know that college will be the start to how I change the world."
"I love golf! It has always been a constant in my life. I enjoy the beautiful scenery, being outside breathing fresh air and the mental challenge it imparts on me every day. The meaningful connections and lifelong friendships that have been created through the game are priceless. I am currently entering my sophomore year at Methodist University studying Marketing with a concentration in Professional Golf Management. Golf has taught me how important it is to adapt to change. Your game changes depending upon your personal swing development, weather conditions, position of your ball, and topography of the course. The ever-changing game develops patience and perseverance and being open to new ideas."
Here are words from the 2021 scholarship award winner applications:
University of North Dakota
"...no senior golf season, no senior prom, no graduation - and what ultimately felt like no closure. Everything was falling apart right in front of me, and I couldn't control any of it. I used this time to reflect and release tension through my golf game. I practiced and worked hard, because that is what I could control….I became more responsible (how could I help people affected by the virus?) I became more determined (with more time, I became more dedicated to practice and creating new academic, tournament, personal health and financial goals.) I became more connected (reconnecting with personal faith and volunteering in my community - giving back the many blessings I have received.) I became more aware (from the covid pandemic to BLM I recognized the importance of understanding the views of others.) And when the challenges of my first college golf season finally came, I was able to handle them with grace."
Penn State University
"...my high school only had a boy's team. I started to doubt even trying out for the team - and while I did make the (roster), I was a minority on the male-dominated team and I was not very good. I stuck it out, worked on my golf skills over the summer and by my senior year I was elected captain of our team. My goal is to complete a 4 year college and earn a degree in engineering. Originally I was thinking of aeronautics, but I am leaving my options open. My experience on the boy's golf team has helped me in my journey to become an engineer."
Eastern Kentucky University
"I am a junior at EKU majoring in marketing with a concentration in Professional Golf Management. At EKU there are only 4 women (out of 75 students) in the Professional Golf Management program. You find yourself having to adjust while making new friends. Being a confident person, I was able to develop many friendships within the program. Each person within my program has helped me develop my game in various ways - be it swing or putting tips, or just all around support. This support allowed me to pass the PGA Player Ability Test - a test that is needed to become a PGA professional. Dedicating my spare time to practice helped me accomplish this goal and I am very proud of this achievement. It showed me that you can accomplish anything that you set your mind to in life."
"My freshman year I tried out for the boy's golf team. I was paired with a very accomplished player, and we teed off in the first group. I really struggled on the first hole - really struggled! I finished the par 4 hole with a score of twelve! I was so embarrassed and very upset. I knew at that moment, I needed to refocus. I nearly drove the green on the second hole and made a birdie. I persevered through the 9 hole round, and 2 days later I was told I made the boy's golf team! Golf has taught me how important it is to adapt to change. In golf, as in life you are constantly changing. The ever changing game develops patience and perseverance and being open to new ideas. I am attending Methodist University to study in their Professional Golf Management program."
University of Charleston (WV)
"...golf has taught me many things, allowing me to succeed in other areas of my life beyond the golf course. Golf has strengthened my work ethic, self-discipline and sense of responsibility and has taught me if you want something bad enough, you have to work for it. You can be confident that the lessons golf has taught me in patience, perseverance and discipline will go a long way in helping me complete 6+ years of college as I earn my doctorate in pharmacy. My desire to be an outpatient pharmacist stems from a love of math and chemistry (coupled) with people I know filling themselves with prescriptions and not really knowing how they work together. I want to use my knowledge helping people live their best lives - by treating them with medicine, nutrition and exercise."
Robert Morris University
"I was introduced to golf 7 years ago, but I wish I had started it sooner since it is such a positive in my life. I was reluctant to try it because I thought golf looked boring, but soon found out it was a sport I enjoyed! I (have participated and developed through) the First Tee as a player, on their Junior Advisory Program and I now serve as a part time coach. During the pandemic, we conducted virtual coaches meetings to learn how to establish new safety guidelines and procedures to keep participants and coaches safe while teaching golf and life skills at in-person clinics. When I think back on some of my most challenging life-events, it is clear that the skills I learn through golf apply to life! I am a senior study actuarial science with the goal of becoming an actuary. Last year I had a virtual internship with Highmark where I studied their response to the pandemic. This year I am interning at Cigna's Executive Actuarial Development program, where I am learning more about the healthcare industry."
University of North Dakota
"My involvement in golf, as well other school and community based activities, has shaped me into a person who promotes strong and successful leadership, as well as being open-hearted and fair. I am attending the University of North Dakota where I intend to major in Accounting. I the future, hope to work for an accredited firm where I can be successful while supporting my family no matter where we choose to live."
"While I have played almost every sport you can think of, none of the others quite compare to the game of golf. It is without a doubt the hardest game I have ever played – and I think that is why I love it so much! It is just as much psychological as it is physical….and I believe is separates regular athletes from true athletes. I have chosen physical therapy as my career path, as I have true passion for helping others improve there health. Once I complete my Bachelor's degree from Fairmont State, I plan to attend West Virginia University in the physical therapy program."
Robert Morris University
"I am a rising junior in the Honors Program at Robert Morris University studying actuarial science, with the goal of becoming an actuary. I was introduced to golf six years ago, and I wish I had started it sooner! Although golf looked boring, I started clinics at The First Tee of Pittsburgh, and really fell in love with the sport! First Tee strategies helped to reveal my resilience and new found confidence both on the course and in the class room."
Penn State University
"During my time on the high school golf team, I have been the only female 2 out of 3 years. I was not as good as the men, and I did not feel truly welcomed by the men. I decided I wanted to change that. I took some lessons and I practiced a lot, and I saw my game really improve. Later that year, a varisty player was hurt and I was a sub. I played really well, and I earned the confidence of the rest of my team mates. I learned that if I work hard enough and practice, I can and will succeed. I would like to become a commercial pilot and aerospace engineer."
Penn State University
"Golf has been a part of my life since the beginning, so to have the opportunity to study it in college is a dream come true. I want to be successful and make improvements to the golf world for women. I want to help them improve their game and make a difference in golf. I want it to be "Oh, you're a golfer!" instead of "Oh, you're a female golfer!"
"Since the age of 10 I had a goal of playing for a Division I golf. This is just one example of how I have set a goal and worked hard to achieve it. I plan on studying economics/and or finance and later attending Law School."
Robert Morris University
I am a rising sophomore at RMU in the honors program studying Actuarial Science. My goal is to work as an actuary after graduation. Besides college prep classes, there is a difficult exam process. I recently passed the first exam, and I am looking forward to completing the remaining 9 exams! I only started to learn golf 5 years ago, but I now wish I had started sooner. Golf has only brought good things to my life!
I am majoring in Financial Management with minors in Legal Studies and Accounting. Whether I choose to be a real estate agent, a financial planner or human rights lawyer - I know that I will always be the hardest working person in the room! My experiences with golf greatly influenced the hard working traits that I have.
Saint Francis University
I am extremely hard working and know I have a bright future! I play on the women's golf team at Saint Francis University, and in my spare time I volunteer helping with junior golf programs. I hope to work in the golf industry, possibly for the Golf Channel.
"After years of hard work, I was recruited to play at Dickinson College to play Division III golf for their Women's Golf Team. As a freshman, I played as their top female golfer. Outside of the classroom I have interned at several financial institutions, solidifying my enthusiasm and drive to pursue a degree in Economics."
"I am proud to be part of the golf community and I want to share my passion with others! Combine the experiences that golf has given me with my studies at Radford, and I know I have the confidence for success as I major in Media Studies, concentrating in Journalism. My ultimate goal is to broadcast for The Golf Channel."
"What golf has taught me about perseverance and overcoming obstacles- Golf is a constant learning experiences and you struggle facing al the experiences on the course. My future career is visual effects, and that is a really tough industry to get into! Golf is going to help me persevere and achieve my goals."
Fairmont State University
"Golf has played an important role in my life. I have been playing golf since I was 4 starting out and last year I was the Mountain East Freshman of the year. I am majoring in secondary education in hopes of becoming a History teacher."
"Golf has impacted my life so much! It has taught me great leadership skills, and I have made so many wonderful friendships that last to this today. I know that most of all I am going to be able to use golf out in the business field and in my career, perhaps golfing with a client. I know it's a sport I am going to play the rest of my life. My goal is to obtain a degree in Finance/Accounting."
Towson University • Towson, MD
"I embrace Maya Angelou's motto 'When you learn, teach; when you get, give.' Golf is my passion. I have been playing since I was 5 years old and I have been a leader and a role model in the sport of golf. I played all four years in high school, was captain two years and broke barriers on one of my high school teams as the only girl and only African American. I am determined to reach my goals and become a journalist, reporter and photographer."
High Point University • High Point, NC
"An important personal lesson golf taught me was how to become less critical of myself. When I began playing competitive golf, I would get frustrated, upset, lose focus and internalize a lot of emotions when I saw how advanced other players were... . I learned to understand my unnecessary need for perfection and began appreciating my natural ability and began striving for continuous improvement... . My studies will focus on sports broadcasting, and I want to be the next face of the Golf Channel."
Snead State Community College • Boaz, AL
"...Making the decision to transfer from one college to another after the first semester of my freshman year was one of the most difficult decisions I have made... . I have shown myself the person that I have grown into - that I can adjust to any environment with little support from family or peers... .Being on a college golf team takes a toll on you mentally and physically. It was important for each of us to support and help each other in any way we could. Golf is like life in so many ways - and the persistence I use in golf is the same persistence I use in my daily life."
Penn State University • State College, PA
"I began as a high school golfer on the boys team - and that presented obvious challenges - from being accepted to competing against players who did not want to compete against a girl... . In a short time, my male peers began to support, defend and even encourage me... . In high school I helped establish our first women's golf team and we were successful in competition... . I know in college I will be faced with many challenges, and I also know the lessons I have learned from golf will be the foundation in which I will rely...whether it is the LPGA or running a Junior Golf Clinic, I want to pass along the lessons golf has taught me to others."
East Carolina University • Greenville, NC
"Over the years I have learned that golf is a sport where you must be mentally strong. In one tournament I took a ten on a hole, and I was highly upset! However, I did not let it get to me mentally. I pushed forward and made four pars after that poor score on one hole... . Volunteering to help those in need helped me gain an understanding of how to approach patients and work with children. When I graduate with my BSN, I would like to get started right away to help sick people and others in need."
Dickinson College • Carlisle, PA
"...By my senior year I was named Co-Ed captain of the varsity golf team (and there were never more than three girls on that team.) I will use this award to further my education and grow as a person both in the classroom and on the golf course. College is more than just four years of sitting in a classroom, but more so about how you use your newfound knowledge to change the world."
Calvin College • Grand Rapids, MI
"Although I was allowed to try out for a boys' golf team, there was no guarantee I would be good enough to play. As a girl, I had to step out of my comfort zone in order to play the game I love...I accomplished many things by learning from and persevering through bad shots, hard rounds and frustrating practices. As I look to my future career, I aspire to become an editor for a trade publishing company."
Smith College • Boston, MA
"Golf might have started off by teaching me how to achieve a certain score and sports (wo)-manship, but is has since taught me so much more. Golf has instilled in me the tenacity to accomplish everything - from what is needed to excel in the classroom, to learning how to overcome and grow through the most difficult points in my life. I am currently planning to complete my Master's degree in neuroscience, followed by an MD/PhD program to pursue a career in medical research."
The College of Saint Rose • Albany, NY
"…I would not be the person I am today, had it not been for golf. Overcoming being bullied and switching schools made me a stronger person… at 13 I became a caddy… at 14 I was playing on the boys' golf team… at 15 I competed in my first national competition with The First Tee… Now I am starting the next chapter of my life playing Division II Women's golf and studying Business Administration."
Howard University • Albany, NY
"Through golf I learned patience and perseverance. It taught me to push through a couple of holes and make it through a round, learning that it is always about the next hole and improving after every one of them. And then I applied that to life. That even if I don't do well on one assignment, I can do well on the next. Because of golf, I began to think about the end game – and not dwell on the negatives. I want to become a chemical engineer with a focus on fuel optimization – I want to change the world with something I create."
Savannah College of Art and Design • Savannah, GA
"As a competitive female golfer, I have an opportunity to mentor other youth in the community by teaching them the fundamentals and etiquette of golf. My motto is to promote the game of golf to every girl I meet! Upon graduation I plan to start an animation career producing movies and creating characters to entertain and inspire children to play golf and learn life skills."
Penn State University
"Being a caddy has not only taught me a lot about golf, but also about being a professional and networking. I obtained insight into the professional world which channels me into future endeavors. I have become more confident, independent and have learned to make choices that are best for me."
University of Colorado
"Something I really like about golf is that it's a game very different from other sports because as an individual, you play against yourself as well as the others who are competing. This is the aspect that I find significnanct because you discover a lot about yourself."
Savannah College of Art and Design
"As a competitive female golfer, I have an opportunity to mentor other youth in the community by teaching them the fundamentals and etiquette of golf. My motto is to promote the game of golf to every girl I meet!"
College of Wooster
"Through participation in golf programs, I have achieved confidence and courage to try new things, learning life and leaderships skills to help me obtain my goals. I love animals and all my life I wanted to be a vet. Before golf I gave up working towards that because I thought it would be too hard. I am now working towards a degree in biology. I hope I will become a vet or zoologist or zookeeper one day. I am going to continue to work hard towards my future."
Univeristy of MD - Eastern Shore
"Golf has made a positive impact on my life because it has helped me be more diverse, especially since most of my friends and family do not play. I have made a lot of connections with different people that can help me build strong relationships that will help progress my future."
"My time coaching in golf has helped me to realize how much I love working with children coupled with my volunteering in the community has led to the realization that I am passionate about helping others. This awareness, combined with the love of science, has inspired me to become an intended neuroscience major, with the career aspiration of becoming a pediatric neurologist."