Do you like golf? Pretty ladies? How about pretty ladies that play golf? If you said yes, then continue reading.
This is my first year on the LPGA, and my third year playing professionally. Since going pro I’ve met some pretty awesome ladies that bring a lot to the game of golf outside of game itself. As professionals we don’t just golf while we’re on the road. We try to get out and explore as much as we can and have other passions that keep us occupied.
Sandra Gal and Michelle Wie are both excellent painters. Cristie Kerr has her own wine label. I like to write on the side for fun, which allows me to share the exciting journey of my first year as an LPGA pro with you.
As most of you know, golf is hard. Outside of the difficulty of the game, however, playing golf for a living has its perks.
I don’t want to make you jealous, but at the moment I am currently in Australia, sitting outside, looking at the ocean. In the last four weeks I’ve played three tournaments in Sydney, and a Ladies European Tour event in Christchurch, New Zealand where I finished third and got to play in the final group with golf sensation Lydia Ko. Next week will be my first official LPGA event at the Australian Open where I get to spend a week in Melbourne.
Over the last few weeks, I have gone hiking, swimming in the ocean, celebrated Australia Day with Aussies (which is like Independence Day there), played with kangaroos and cuddled with koala and have stayed with the most wonderful host families in homes that make me feel like I live in a cardboard box. To say I haven’t had a good time in Australia and New Zealand would reek of dishonesty.
Back9Network is a great site for people who love the game of golf, but also the lifestyle aspect of it. I am by no means a wealthy person. In fact, I feel fortunate that I have broken even playing over the last couple of years. Even without the wealth, playing golf for a living is like no other sport. Unless you’re an amateur sensation, chances are you won’t have tons of sponsor money rolling in. A golfer has to continuously prove him or herself on the course and their living is completely dependent on how he or she performs.
You have no teammates to rely on, and you don’t get paid to be a bench warmer. Many professionals travel by themselves and don’t have an entourage of agents, swing coaches, or personal assistants. A pro’s main confidant will oftentimes be their caddie if a pro is fortunate enough to find one she gets along with.
As Tiger Woods once said, “Winning takes care of everything.” That is when much of the glamor starts coming into play. However, even without winning, professional golf opens up doors and gives many young hopefuls like me the chance to see the world and experience things that many people could only dream of.
Golfers are dedicated to their sport. We typically don’t have long off seasons, we go weeks without seeing loved ones, and suitcases are replacements for dressers and closets. One either loves the lifestyle that playing professional golf requires, or one may decide it’s not for them. Regardless, it’s a special endeavor that a small percentage of people get to embark on.
This year as I travel around, my hope is to give you insight into my world outside of golf, especially in the world of ladies professional golf. Whether it’s what we do in our off time, (sorry fellas, but it doesn’t include lots of pillow fights), what our pre-round superstitions may be, what our self-remedies are when we miss a cut, or simply who we are off the course, you will get a glimpse into a world that is often unseen in ladies golf.
In the meantime, I’m going to soak in this ocean view.
Anya Alvarez has been playing golf since she could walk and enjoys spreading her joy for the game. She is originally from Oklahoma, went to the University of Washington, majored in history and played four years on the golf team. Alvarez found herself wishing for warmer weather and figured Florida might be a good fit. Turns out she really enjoyed the sunshine. She had a brief stint on a reality golf show called “Big Break: Atlantis” and although she didn’t win, she eventually earned her LPGA card. She played other sports growing up, but hated running so stuck to golf.
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