Connect with us

Opinion & Analysis

USGA Mid-Amateur champion Kelsey Chugg: A story of persistence

Published

on

It was February 2009, and I was sitting at my desk at the University of Kentucky, browsing through incoming emails. My modus operandi at the time centered around finding and critiquing recruits’ technique, often labeling them with the simple term “LOFT: Lack of F-ing Talent,” and sending a form letter back saying we had filled our spots. Sad, but true.

About eight emails into one of these sessions, I came to a rambling soliloquy from a girl in Arizona who was supposed to go somewhere, but her plans had changed. Yadda, yadda, yadda… where’s the video? Scrolling down I came to a YouTube link, clicked and…wait, what?! This girl was good. No, not correct. This young lady had one of the best golf swings I had ever seen; it was dynamic, athletic and powerful. I was impressed (which rarely happened) and started to scramble through the email trying to figure out the story of this girl… one Kelsey Chugg from Arizona.

I found a phone number, quickly dialed and started to find out the back story, which basically involved a kid from a tough family life who fell in love with golf and was set on playing at a local community college. Unfortunately, the deal fell apart and now desperate, she was trying to find an option. About 20 minutes into the conversation it was obvious; Kelsey was a great kid, loved golf and deserved a lot of help.

When there was a break in the back story, I explained that I had good news and bad news. The bad news was that at the University of Kentucky for the following year, we had allotted all of our scholarships and would not be in a financial situation to make an offer. However, I did think I had some options for her. “What do you think of Oklahoma?” I asked. Really long silence. Hmm, maybe she didn’t hear me. As I went to ask again, Kelsey responds with something to the effect of, “I would appreciate any help you would give me.”

The next year, Kelsey enrolled in Redlands Community College. No, Redlands is not in California, it’s in El Reno, Oklahoma. Home to a little more than 18,000 people, it has a prison, a Walmart, a manmade lake, a couple stop lights, a terrible golf course and the nastiest weather for golf ever from middle of November to middle of April. Despite the hardships, the team had a unique kinship and was led by Gerrod Chadwell, a dynamic local with a strong teaching background. It wasn’t Stanford, but Kelsey was grateful for the opportunity and worked really hard.

“I probably wouldn’t have been able to attend school without Gerrod giving me a chance. My family wanted me to go to college, but financially it wasn’t possible for me to attend without the opportunity at Redlands. My time in El Reno was beneficial because I learned how to play in tough conditions. I never had experienced wind like it blows there and I had to learn to be creative with my club choices,” says Chugg when reflecting about her experience.

Upon finishing at Redlands, Kelsey enrolled at Division 1 Weber State to finish her last two years under Coach Jeffery Smith. Weber was an ideal choice for Kelsey because it was close to her grandparents, who became a stabilizing force in her life during college by always providing encouragement and support.

After college, Kelsey continued with golf and eventually went on to win four Utah State Amateurs. Pretty good, eh? At this point, you may be wondering about this story. You may think Kelsey seems great, but what’s the big deal? Here’s your answer: recently, Kelsey Chugg, in her first USGA mid-amateur appearance, won and earned an exemption into 2018 U.S. Women’s Open.

Upon winning, at the press conference, she was asked about her plans for the U.S. Open and expressed her dream to play with her idol; Stacy Lewis. Soon after, Kelsey received a video message from Stacy congratulating her. Here is that message:

Funny enough, Stacy happens to be the wife of Kelsey’s college coach, Gerrod Chadwell!

So cool! However, to me the coolest thing about the story is Kelsey; a blue-collar kid who loved golf enough to follow it down a path which included El Reno, Oklahoma, and Utah because she simply loved the game. For her to be a USGA champion is simply an amazing story and I am so proud to know her and get the opportunity to share it with you. Keep dreaming big and happy golfing friends!

Your Reaction?
  • 62
  • LEGIT6
  • WOW4
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Brendan is the owner of Golf Placement Services, a boutique business which aims to apply his background in golf and higher education to help educate players, their families and coaches about the process! Website - www.golfplacementservices.com Insta - golf.placement.sevices Twitter @BMRGolf

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. NevinW

    Dec 20, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Very good story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Podcasts

The Gear Dive: Golf prodigy Cole Hammer talks equipment, not turning pro, committing to Texas

Published

on

Cole Hammer, who once qualified for the 2015 U.S. Open at 15 years old, joins The Gear Dive Podcast with Johnny Wunder to discuss equipment, being a Freshman at the University of Texas, committing for 4 years, not turning pro and his crazy big summer including a win at the 2018 Western Amateur.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

Your Reaction?
  • 6
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW3
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Podcasts

TG2: GolfWRX Forum Member “Warrick” explains his love for Mizuno irons

Published

on

GolfWRX forum celebrity “Warrick” explains what he loves so much about Mizuno irons, where he got his name from, how he became a gear head, what’s in his bag currently, his all-time favorite golf course and more. Also, GolfWRX equipment expert Brian Knudson talks about playing Oakland Hills Country Club in Michigan for the first time.

Checkout the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

Your Reaction?
  • 5
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

Opinion & Analysis

Golfholics Course Review: Spyglass Hill Golf Course

Published

on

In this new course review series, Marko and Mike from Golfholics provide their takes on the golf courses they’ve played around the world. The first episode starts with the famed, yet often overlooked Spyglass Hill. Enjoy the video below, and don’t forget to check out more videos from Golfholics on their YouTube page!

Your Reaction?
  • 81
  • LEGIT16
  • WOW6
  • LOL1
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending