Golf Q&A with Olivia Bowling

Describe your golf life; when did you start playing and how did you end up being ranked 15th in the nation?
I began playing golf when I was 7 years old. I learned everything from my dad. He built my swing, he helped me with all the junior tournaments, and he was (and still is) my caddy. I found Randolph-Macon and fell in love with the school and my coach! I don’t think I could have become ranked 15th in the nation without the support of my family, friends, teammates, and my coach.

What does golf mean to you?
Everyone who knows me, knows that golf is my life. I am obsessed! Golf is so important to my life because it has given me an escape from everyday life.

How do you constantly improve your game?
Practice, Practice, Practice! I am always out practicing on the putting green or playing 9 holes with some of my teammates. A major thing I do to improve my game is go out and play against my dad. If I can beat him, I can beat anyone!

What motivates you and why?
I am motivated to play well for my team, for my parents, and for myself. I set so many expectations for myself because I want to see myself do well. When you spend so many hours of your life on something you love, you don’t want to see yourself fail.

What does it feel like to be the 15th best in the nation?
Honestly, I never knew I was ranked that high until my little sister, Julia, texted me one day and told me! I don’t like the pay attention to rankings because I don’t want them to get in my head. I know that sounds cliche!

How do the girls on the team make you better?
I love my teammates! I have some of my best friends on the team and I don’t think I would be the golfer I am in college without them. We all support each other but at the same time, we give each other competition without knowing. We are always playing together and always teaching each other. If one of us is better at short game, we will give tips on how to improve. If one of us is better on irons, we will give each other tips. We all make each other better because we want to see low scores from everyone.

What have the coaches here at RMC taught you?
My coach at RMC has taught me to live in the now. I used to always think about end results without thinking about the process. Also, my coach has taught me that my golf score does not define me. If I have one bad round, I just need to keep my head up and remember bad days happen.

How do you view the girls on the golf team?
We are one big family. It sounds cheesy but it is true.

What things do you do to prepare for a tournament?
I practice the week before. I don’t just practice skills but also mind set. I try not to get to nervous and just think of the round as just another day on the course with my Dad and not a tournament.

Where is your favorite place to play and why?
My favorite place to play is Wicomico Shores in my home town. It isn’t anything fancy or well-known but I grew up playing there with my sisters and my dad.

Who has been your biggest cheer leader?
This is a hard one. I would say it would be a tie between my two sisters and my parents. There is not just one!

How would your life be different if golf had not become a part of your life?
I honestly don’t have an answer. I have tried to picture my life without golf but it is impossible.

How has golf impacted your life in a positive way?
Golf has taught me patience. It has helped me stay calm when things get stressful with school and friends. If anything happens that stresses me out, I can just head to the course and I will instantly be relaxed.

How has been being away from home effected how you play?
Being away at college really has effected how I play. School has had a bigger impact on how I play. It sometimes effect how much I get to practice because I get busy. However, playing golf in college has given me the chance to see my parents more than maybe other college kids get the chance to. They come to every golf tournament. Also, if I ever need help in my game I only live an hour away from school. My dad will come down, help me with my game, and then take me out to dinner. :)

What are your plans after college?
I plan on going to Physical Therapy School. Also, maybe getting my teaching certificate to give lessons on the weekends.

 

Interview by Madison Guidry, Senior Sports Editor

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