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2019 National Girls and Women in Sports Day!

For the second year in a row, we are proud to support National Girls and Women in Sports Day! We host a private Pro-Am in advance of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and are thrilled to have many talented female pro golfers joining us. Their stories are all unique and inspiring, and we are excited to share some of what drives them to compete, as well as catching up with some of the players who participated last year.

Pat HurstPat Hurst

Short Bio: Pat Hurst has had a very successful playing career, winning the U.S Women’s Amateur before turning Pro and then winning Rookie of the Year honors. From there she won 6 LPGA tournaments, including one Major, the Nabisco Dinah Shore, and runner up at the U.S. Women’s Open to Annika Sorenstam.

On Inspiration On and Off the Course: “My biggest inspiration is having the ability to make a difference in people’s lives. Trying to do the right thing and being a good role model for all.”

Advice for Young Women in Sports: “Follow your dreams. Determination, hard work and believing in yourself go a long way.”

On Working with ISM: “My favorite part is conversing with the participants. Seeing what they do and just getting to know them a little. Every year I come back I learn a little more about each person.”

Dream Course and Foursome: “I would play in the Monterey area…Pebble, Spyglass, or MPCC. Dream foursome would people who enjoy and appreciate golf as much as I do!”

Nicole JerayNicole Jeray

Career Updates: “After a successful 4 years of college golf, I qualified for the LPGA and miraculously made the Tour on my first attempt. For 25 years I played LPGA, Asian Tour, Symetra Tour, and various other mini-tours. I’ve won on all the tours except for LPGA with my best finish as 10th place.  My career was very long, educational, fun, and full of experiences you cannot buy. My proudest moments are winning the Order of Merit on the Ladies Asian Golf Tour and receiving the Heather Wilbur Award.

Currently, I’m teaching at Mistwood GC and Mistwood Dome in the Chicagoland area. Teaching is very rewarding and just as challenging as playing golf on the LPGA Tour.  I do look forward to competing in a handful of events this year including 2 majors: the KPMG at Hazeltine and the Senior LPGA Championship at French Lick Resort.”

On Advancing Narcolepsy Awareness and Research: “Last year we had a Pro-Am planned to benefit “Wake Up Narcolepsy,” however, a golf course conflict forced us to cancel. We are currently planning an event in the Chicago area in August. In the last year, I’ve started presenting at several Narcolepsy conferences. Outside of organizing a Pro-Am, this year I have three speaking engagements on the schedule, including the Philadelphia National Sleep Convention.”

On Being a Young Woman Working at a Golf Course: “It’s easy to feel like an outsider when surrounded by only males. However, we were all there because we liked to golf and we wanted to make money which meant that we had a lot in common. Doing what I loved and enjoyed helped create a smoother path even though I felt outside my comfort zone. I always focused on doing the best job I could and this helped with being accepted. Inwardly competing with the boys at everything was also fun, especially when I did well. Always remain humble!  I now find myself surrounded by males more often than not and my childhood experiences really shaped my success in this arena.”

Dream Course and Foursome: “Pebble Beach! It’s iconic and the views must be amazing!!! Since playing Pebble so many times on a Top Tracer simulator, I now have a strong desire to take on the real Pebble Beach.  My dream foursome would have Oprah, Tony Robbins, and Steph Curry.”

Dana DormannDana Dormann

Short Bio: Dana Dormann has had a successful career in golf from a young age, winning the 1985 U.S. Junior and Junior World Championships, as well as being a three-time All-American for the Spartans. During her education at San Jose State (SJS), she was an assistant coach to many great athletes who would go on to join her in professional golf careers. After college, she joined the LPGA Tour, where she won the 1992 Las Vegas LPGA International and the 1993 McCall’s LPGA Classic. Her proudest accomplishment was staying on the Tour with her oldest son for five years, before retiring from professional golf shortly after the birth of her youngest child. After retiring from professional golf, she returned to San Jose State as an assistant coach. In July of 2018, she was named the head coach for the women’s golf program, taking over from her husband.

On Watching Nancy Lopez’s Career: “When Nancy was on her streak in 1978 of 5 wins in a row, I was maybe 10 or 11 years old, and it really showed me the opportunities that were out there for women in professional golf. I learned to play golf at the local naval base with a couple of young guys, and we all began to see golf as a way to pay for college with a scholarship, even for me as a young woman, especially with (then) recent developments related to Title IX. During college, I became an assistant coach and had the opportunity to work with many great players, including Pat Hurst and Julie Inkster.”

On Touring with a Young Child: “This really was one of my proudest accomplishments, staying on the Tour with my oldest son. The year he was born, the LPGA and Smuckers started a partnership to provide childcare on the Tour, including health professionals, organizing daycare and more for women who choose to tour with their children. It’s a great benefit of the tour that often goes unsung, and they’ve been doing it for a long time! My oldest son is now 24 years old, to give you a sense of how long they’ve been doing this!”

Advice for Young Women in Sports: “My ‘why’ in coaching is all about empowering our players. The culture we’re trying to emphasize (at SJS) is, “Strong women come from here – we’re Spartans.” We apply this attitude to academics, sports, career – everything. You can be a strong woman in all areas.”

Dream Course and Foursome: “Monterrey Peninsula Country Club is an extremely beautiful and elite course. They’ve been the host of the Junior Women’s Tournament for years and playing there made me fall in love with golf. I would love to play with Nancy Lopez, Julie Inkster, and Meg Mallon. All of those women have been inspirations to me at different points in my career.”

Eileen KellyEileen Kelly

Career Updates Since Last Year: “This past year was filled with a lot of growth with my game. I started the year playing on the Australian Women’s Tour. Then I gained status into China LPGA events and Thai LPGA events. I have seen my scoring average continue to go down and I am very excited for this year. Golf is definitely not a sprint, you have to set smaller goals and keep pushing forward. It is a great test of character and helps anyone with their patience! Additionally, I have done some hosting for a Roku golf channel called FairwayVision. I’m looking forward to a great season of golf and doing a bit more on camera work as well!”

On Starting in Ballet and Moving to Golf: “It was a bit intimidating transitioning from ballet to golf. Golf is a much more social sport, there are a lot of rules and it was a bit overwhelming at first. Thankfully, the discipline and structure I learned in ballet helped ease the transition. Also, I was fortunate to have key females in the golf world that made the transition a bit easier. They took me under their wing and helped me be more comfortable and learn to not be as shy!”

Her Fuel and Inspiration: “Honestly, this past year was a tough one for me as far as being inspired. I believe it is certainly normal to have moments like this and it is a true test to yourself to push through! I really focused on my ‘why,’ which is my love for the game and my parents. They have done so much to encourage me and be there for me no matter what. This definitely helped re-inspire me alongside sombreakthroughshs with my golf swing!”

Dream Course and Foursome: “Tough question! Would have to be Augusta or Cypress Point (I am cheating because I can’t pick one). It would be with my dad, Tiger Woods, and one of my best friends! That would be a perfect day.”

Stephanie GibriStephanie Gibri

Career Updates Since Last Year: “Since we last spoke, I have been focusing on my travels and my YouTube channel, “A Global Dosage of Golf.” I am fortunate to have travelled and golfed at some incredible destinations such as France, Sweden, and Mexico in 2018. In addition to traveling and participating in charity events, this year you can expect to see me competing in more tournaments and continuously sharing my experiences on my channel. My ultimate goal is to grow my channel to unreached parts of the golf world.”

On Hidden Gem Golf Courses: “I would say my favorite course I played and blogged in 2018 is Pine Canyon in Flagstaff, Arizona for Patrick Peterson’s P2 Ryder Cup. Pine Canyon has an incredible layout surrounded by majestic trees on almost every hole. Personally, I love golf courses that are more target golf specific and at Pine Canyon, you’re always playing for the next shot.”

On Travel Challenges as a Woman: “As a female in any foreign country, there are many precautions I take. If I don’t speak/understand the native language, I teach myself key words in the foreign language that will raise a flag of a potentially dangerous situation and know that it is probably time to leave. As a female athlete in the eye of the public, I feel I have to be extra cautious in the way I respond in any situation to be politically correct and responsible within a different culture.”

Golf Bucket List Updates: “I had the opportunity to play at Golf de Saint Cloud in France, which is a private course that is open to the public in July and August. Golf de Saint Cloud has two courses that share a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower. This course should be on everyone’s bucket list!”

Kim WelchKim Welch

Short Bio: “I’m lucky enough that my career has taken me all over the world and I’ve been able to play golf in countries I never thought I’d even visit, like India, Morocco, and Slovakia! I’ve played on the Symetra Tour, the Asian Tour, the Ladies European Tour, and the LPGA Tour, and with each year I grow more as a golfer and as a human… Better every year is the goal. My proudest accomplishment so far has been being inducted into the Hall of Fame at my college – Washington State University. Being on the Cougar Golf Team for four years was such a special time in my life and it really helped shape me into the person I’ve become today. I feel so much gratitude that I even got to play up there, but then to be selected for their Hall of Fame really was something I was proud of.”

On Trying Overcoming Things Outside of Her Control: “I lost my dad in late 2017, so playing this last season was the first time I had to deal with that loss on the golf course. He was the one who introduced me to the great game of golf, and who instilled in me hard work and a deep respect for the game. Each week was a different test of how I could handle it, but I grew so much from dealing with all the emotions. It was definitely something that was out of my control, but I learned that instead of being sad about him being gone, to turn that into playing in his honor and knowing that I was doing what he always wanted me to do.”

Advice for Young Women in Sports: “I’d advise that if you want to pursue sports professionally, make that commitment to yourself and GO FOR IT! Whether you’re blessed with natural talent or have an unwavering work ethic, you can accomplish anything, including being a successful professional athlete.”

Dream Course and Foursome: “This has to be a toss-up between Cypress Point and Augusta National. Either course would be amazing – as long as I could have Michael Jordan, Adam Scott, and my Dad in the fairways with me!”

Heather Wilson KingHeather Wilson King

Short Bio: “I am golf professional from San Diego. Golf has been in my life from early on, I started to play when I was 8 years old. I played in high school and went on to get a golf scholarship to become a Division I athlete at San Diego State University. After playing 5 years and getting my degree, golf did not end for me after college like most athletes, instead, I went on to become a PGA Professional. Becoming a PGA Professional was then my greatest accomplishment, just this last year I won Assistant Golf Professional of the Year in the San Diego, CA PGA Chapter. The last two years I was able to represent the Southern California PGA in the Cup matches where the top eight women amateurs in Southern California play the top eight women PGA Professionals at Mission Hills Golf Course in Palm Desert, CA. Growing the game is my passion and through teaching golf I get to give back to a sport that has given so much to me.”

On Teaching and Helping Women Understand Golf: “As a golf instructor, I wish women and girls understood that golf is something to learn for the rest of your life. After playing golf for over 20 years I am still learning, meeting new people, and seeing new places. Golf can open the doors to many different things, whether it is trying to raise money for charities or playing on a team. Learning to play golf can relate to so many things you do in life and teaches so many life lessons. I always say to my students that no one wakes up and is good at golf. It takes a lot of time and practice to get good at anything, just like golf, and when you start to see improvement or return on your investment it is self-rewarding.”

Advice for Young Women in Sports: “Advice I have for young girls and women who want to pursue sports professionally is if it was easy everyone would be doing it. Some days are going to be hard, but you have to put your big girl pants on and learn to break through barriers. Not only for yourself but all the young girls and women who will be looking up to you as their role model.”

Dream Course and Foursome: “My dream foursome would be myself, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, and Suzan B Whaley the first women President of the PGA at Augusta National.”