Monday, June 29, 2009

5 Questions With Real Women Golf

Today's guest is the mastermind behind the fun golf blog Real Women Golf. She's the self-proclaimed "former competitive figure skater turned golf-obsessed mom" that brings fresh, fun posts about John Daly, Blair O'Neal, and white belts.

1. Please talk about your competitive figure skating career. How long were you involved and do you still skate at all?

I started skating when I was 3. Another kid was on the pond near our house in NY and crying because he didn't want to skate. I was crying because I wanted to skate. So our parents did a switcheroo with the skates. That's how it all started.

I skated about 14 years--before school, after school, and I spent my summers away from home training in Rockford, Ill.

I don't skate right now. I've thought about it. I'm afraid I'd try a double jump and hurt myself and not be able to golf.

2. What other sports have you participated in other than skating and golf? Are there sports that you are particularly fond of following (besides golf)?

That's a funny question. No one outside of skating ever saw me as athletic. I was just a skinny kid that skated. I played soccer for a bit. I used to make the boys on the outdoor rinks in MN let me play hockey with them otherwise I wouldn't give them space on the ice to play. I could out-skate most of them in my figure skates.

I was always the last one picked for sports teams in school. I used to joke that, I skated, so I had no useful athletic skills. Honestly there wasn't any time to do any other sports. I did pick up roller blading after college. I've always enjoyed hiking and love a good bike ride with the kids. Unfortunately, I run and throw a ball like a girl.

As far as watching other sports. Besides golf, we watch the craziest sports at our house. My husband is a fan of futball and Australian Rules Football. I still enjoy watching skating, but if I had to pick a national skating championship or a golfing major, I'd choose golf. I like college football and we are big Columbus Crew fans. I love almost any sport live.

3. When did you start "Real Women Golf" and what was your inspiration? What, if any, other sources do you write for?

I started Real Women Golf last August. I hate to say this, but it was actually my husband's idea. Since I was a professional writer before my kids were born, he suggested I start a blog about something I like. Golf was the obvious choice.

Originally it was just meant as a creative outlet and a place to collect my stories for a possible book someday. I hoped women golfers might enjoy it, but I never thought it would develop the following it did--especially with male readers. It's been fun to watch it grow.

I am a freelance writer so I am always juggling a few projects. I have written for online magazines and other Websites. I also write promotional/marketing materials for some clients along with a video or two.

4. How did you get started playing golf? How often do you play now and do you have a handicap? What motivated you to start playing golf?

That is such a LONG story. My husband bought me a set of clubs after we got engaged (over 15 years ago). He played in college so he wanted me to learn.

We traveled a lot before our kids were born. So he would pick these wonderfully exotic locations that just happened to have golf courses. My clubs have clocked some serious miles. I whacked at the ball, and enjoyed the scenery and beverage carts, but I never fell in love with the game.

Then when we moved from Washington, D.C. , to Columbus, OH we had a wonderful indoor training facility a minute down the road. One bleak March day I took the clubs out of the attic, heading to the indoor range and decided I wanted to learn how to hit a golf ball in the air.

From there I took a women's beginning clinic and continued with lessons. That was a little over three years ago. Now I play on our course's competitive team.

I play or practice almost everyday. I can't help myself. My kids play too, so we have some great family time on the course. I love how my kids talk to me on the course. They are away from all electronic devices and it makes for some great conversations. I also have a great group of golfing gal pals. They are the best.

My handicap is currently a 12.7--the lowest so far. I desperately want to be a single-digit.

I think my desire to be a better player comes from my competitive figure skating background. I just didn't know I still had it in me, until I started golfing.

My motivation to learn to golf stemmed from my adjustment from living in a big city to a small one. I think I was trying to find some peace and quiet and something separate from the inevitable gossip of a small town. I find golf very therapeutic. In a nutshell, I found peace on the golf course.

5. Who were your role models as a child and today? Would you consider yourself a role model? Why or why not?

My role models as a kid were all skaters: Dorothy Hamill and Scott Hamilton were favorites because I loved their artistry. Scott is a such a survivor too. He's a role model well beyond figure skating.

Today my role models are different. My mom and I have always had a great relationship so I look up to her. As far as golf goes, I really admired Annika Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa, and Stacy Lewis. I also have a huge respect for the FUTURES players and the determination they show every day. Greg Norman was the first golfer I ever followed, so he is definitely on the list. Watching him made me appreciate the game long before I ever played it.

Me a role model? Yikes! That's a tough one. I would say I am a good poster child for women's golf. I am always trying to encourage women to get on the course and have some fun. It's so intimidating at first, and it doesn't have to be. While I love my competitive golf I am a strong believer in making golf fun. Many women are curious how I started golfing and want to know how to learn. I'm always trying to get new gals to join me on the course.

I know my daughter thinks it's cool that mom competes. If I can teach her to be strong and go after her dreams, I will consider that a huge accomplishment.

Here is Heather's video application for the coolest job in the world as a caretaker near the Great Barrier Reef:

You can follow Heather on Twitter @realwomengolf.


Lindsay said...

Great interview. Sounds like that women's golf clinic paid off! And good thing her husband played golf or she might never have gotten into it.

P.S. I went for a hike in Weed, Calif., today! Well, more like a walk.

Lindsay said...

Great interview. Sounds like that women's golf clinic paid off! And good thing her husband played golf or she might never have gotten into it.

P.S. I went for a hike in Weed, Calif., today! Well, more like a walk.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Hike, walk - at least you got out! I hope you're having a great time in NorCal.

Vince Spence said...


Thanks. Great job interviewing Heather. She is one of the very first I touched base with when I started my pathetic blog and she has always been very, very supportive and helpful. It is also nice she has a fantastic blog to read every day too.

Apryl DeLancey said...

Oh please, your blog rocks! You should do a guest post or interview for me!

Lindsay said...

Yes, having a great time! Oops, didn't mean to post the same comment twice! Way to go, slow Internet!