U.S. WOMEN'S MID-AMATEUR
Gettin' Jiggy With It: Schultz Trades Dance Shoes for Golf Spikes November 11, 2017 | Houston, Texas By Lisa D. Mickey

Allison Schultz hopes to find the proverbial dance floor a lot this week at Champions Golf Club. (USGA/Darren Carroll)

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Allison Schultz brings a bit of Celtic pride to the golf course every chance she gets to play.

And while the American with German-Irish heritage hasn’t competed in Irish dancing for nearly 10 years, she credits the energetic jig for having a positive influence on her game. On Saturday at Champions Golf Club, Schultz, 26, had an extra spring in her step as she teed off in the 31st U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, her first USGA individual championship appearance.

“I’ve always credited my golf success to my Irish dancing,” said Schultz, who now resides in Madison, Wis. “Dancing is physically exerting and demanding, but the poise you have to have transfers directly to golf. If you are having a stressful moment on the golf course, you can’t be losing it in your head.”

Schultz, who grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, started Irish dancing in third grade, and four years later was competing on the regional, national and world-championship levels. Her winning teams traveled throughout the U.S. as well as to Ireland.

Her golf skills, meanwhile, evolved as she progressed through high school. Admitting to being a “decent” scholastic player, Schultz decided “at the last minute” to walk on to the women’s team at the University of Toledo, but didn’t make the starting lineup until her final two seasons.

The breakthrough moment came in 2012, a week after Schultz traveled to Chicago for her grandfather’s “huge Irish Catholic funeral.” With her father on her bag, Schultz won the Ohio Women’s Amateur, defeating current LPGA Tour player Marissa Steen in the championship match.

“My dad and I went from a super family-charged week straight to Dublin, Ohio, for the tournament,” said Schultz, who carded a 6-over 78 in Saturday's first round of stroke play. “I never had to play 18 holes in match play that week and after that, I believed I could beat anybody.”

While Steen and Schultz occasionally chat, their golf careers went in opposite directions. Schultz, who represented her native Ohio and adopted Wisconsin in the now-retired USGA Women’s State Team Championship, works as an account manager in the insurance industry.

But just like her dancing, golf remains a fun, competitive endeavor. And she hopes to use her past success in match play to her advantage this week.

“I have tried to make it into a competition like this since high school,” said Schultz. “Match play has been my friend in the past, so I hope that I can make it to Monday.”

Lisa D. Mickey is a Florida-based freelance writer who frequently contributes to USGA websites.

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