Golfer Tracy Hanson
Having fun is the trick to great golfing
Tracy Hanson watches her tee shot. (Photo: Jeff Mitchell /Reuters)
Tracy Hanson fell in love with golfing when she was 10 years old. She won her first amateur national championship when she was 17—the Western Women’s Golf Championship. In college, she decided to go pro. Today, she is an excellent golfer, ranking 69th in the top 100 for the most amount of money earned in 2006.
Women have been golfing for more than 500 years—since the game began in Scotland. Mary Queen of Scots, in fact, ordered the construction of St. Andrews course, which is still in use today. In the U.S. the first women’s tournament was held in 1895.
But it wasn’t until fairly recently that women began to make any real money in golf. The first woman to win more than $1 million in prize money in a year was Australian Karrie Webb in 1996. However, the men’s tournaments regularly award that much in a single tournament.
Hanson is not discouraged by the inequality. She has been touring with the Ladies Professional Golf Association since 1995 and has been inducted into the National Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
She achieved her success by practicing four to eight hours a day, starting on the driving range and playing at least one round of golf. She learned early on how to handle pressure during a tournament.
“I take lots of deep breaths and focus on the putt and imagine the golf ball sinking into the hole,” she told Scholastic News Online. “I always remind myself that in the event that I miss this putt, that it’s not the end of the world and that there will be other opportunities.”
For Hanson, other opportunities include writing and public speaking. She has been published in several magazines, including Sports Spectrum. She also had a story printed in the 1999 book, Chicken Soup for the Golfer’s Soul. She is also in demand on the golf speaking circuit as an inspirational speaker.
Her hobbies are mostly all focused on the outdoors. She likes to fish, hike, and rock climb. But she also likes to read and make chocolate chip cookies.
Hanson has some good advice for kids who would like to pursue a career in golf.
“Just try to have fun,” she says. “The first rule is to enjoy yourself while you’re on the golf course.”
You can learn more about Tracy on her Web site.
Women’s History Month
Celebrate Women’s History Month with Scholastic News Online! Learn more about some amazing women who changed history.
Jimmy Pitenis is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.