This week, we will feature LPGA*USGA Girls Golf alum Dani Swaggerty who attended the Girls Golf Leadership Academy last year and will soon continue growing the game by playing on Eastern Florida State College’s inaugural women’s golf team.
How old were you when you started playing golf and what made you choose to pick up the game?
My uncle Brian played DI college golf and gave me some plastic clubs when I was about three years old. I remember it was fun, so then he gave me some “real” tiny clubs for Easter the next year. I didn’t do much with them. But my mom exposed me to all kinds of activities throughout my life to see what “would stick.” I ran track, played volleyball, basketball, danced (still do), tried gymnastics, and got a bloody nose playing softball.
Eventually, after one day in seventh grade, I came home and told my mom that there was an information meeting the next day at school for golf and asked her to go with me. I think my mom actually did cartwheels. LOL
Because she said “yes,” I was on my way on a rewarding journey that I had no clue how this would unfold. Coach Nicole Noe introduced me to Louise Ball, LPGA Head Teaching Professional, and I got started with lessons (my mom was/is a stickler on doing things right and not wasting effort or time) and the rest is history.
I still carry the message of “practice with purpose, play with passion” that Coach Noe taught us from Day 1. Being engaged is a must for everything you do and having fun is a big indicator whether or not to continue the journey or to click the pause button for a little bit.
I sometimes wonder how many swings I’ve taken or how many miles I’ve walked since I started playing golf.
The journey has been amazing with all the people I’ve met and the beautiful places I’ve visited, not to mention all the bonding time I’ve had with my mom in the car and knowing she’s been with me every step of the way, even when she is hiding in the trees at tournaments. I so appreciate my family support and the wonder women in my life and letting me find what works for me, on my own being ready timeline, giving me the push-throughs, and following my dream and not someone else’s.
Come back tomorrow to see more about how golf has impacted Dani.