GOLF FORWARD
Sophia Schubert: From LPGA-USGA Girls Golf to USGA Champion October 10, 2017 By David Chmiel, USGA

2017 U.S. Women's Amateur champion Sophia Schubert shares her joy after winning at San Diego Country Club. (USGA/Steven Gibbons) 

When Sophia Schubert lifted the Robert Cox Trophy after capturing the 117th U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, the Oak Ridge, Tenn., native couldn’t help but think back to a journey in the game that led to her triumphant moment at San Diego Country Club.

Seventeen years earlier, Schubert’s mother, Delisa, had signed her up for the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program.

“My mom originally signed me up as a way to learn the game so I could play with my dad, Bill,” Schubert said. “I started at the Fairways and Greens practice facility in Knoxville,” about a half-hour from the family’s Oak Ridge home.

The USGA is proud to partner with the LPGA Foundation to bring LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, the country’s flagship junior golf program for girls, to 60,000 girls annually. The program, which currently serves members in 47 states, prepares girls for a lifetime of enjoyment of the game, instills confidence and enriches lives. Girls Golf has seen exponential expansion in recent years and the USGA is committed to helping to grow the program and increase girls’ participation in golf across North America.

“LPGA-USGA Girls Golf made the game fun for me and provided competition at a young age,” Schubert said. “Seeing progress in myself kept me wanting to play more. I also remember going to an LPGA event with our group of girls. Watching the women play inspired me to continue and work hard.”

Schubert is an advocate for getting more girls into the game, stressing the impact that the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program had on her life.

“Through different activities and drills I learned golf etiquette and proper swing mechanics, while also teaching me to have respect for this challenging but rewarding game,” she said. “It helped me learn that hard work would take me places that I never thought I could go. I found a desire to keep improving on and off the course.” 

Schubert takes a selfie to remember her big moment at the 117th U.S. Women's Amateur championship. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

Schubert, 21, a senior at the University of Texas, is enjoying her last year as a student-athlete. She also has an exciting summer of 2018 ahead; her Women’s Amateur victory gives her an exemption into the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek, outside of Birmingham, Ala., as well as likely invitations to three other women’s professional majors. Not bad considering it was her first time competing in the Women’s Amateur, and just her second USGA championship.

Schubert already competed in the 2017 Evian Championship, where she opened with a round of 68 on the way to a tie for 58th place, and she can look ahead to the 2018 ANA Inspiration and Ricoh Women’s British Open. She must remain an amateur to use those exemptions, as well as one into the 118th U.S. Women’s Amateur at The Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs. As much as she cherishes these opportunities, she couldn’t help but reflect on another thing that her introduction to the game has given her.

“More than 15 years later I am still friends with several girls who I met through LPGA-USGA Girls Golf,” she said. “We occasionally reminisce and look back at pictures of us.”

Schubert could also share how the patience instilled in her through the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program helped to prepare her for a victory that was unusual for the U.S. Women’s Amateur; she became the first player older than 19 to win the championship in nine years. She has plenty of advice for any girl considering getting into golf.

 “Golf is a game where you can learn a lot about yourself, gain friendships, and learn life lessons that will not only help you on the golf course but off as well,” she said. “Golf can be frustrating and challenging, but at the end of the day it’s a wonderful game and provides young girls with great opportunities for their future.”

That’s a bit of wisdom, courtesy of personal experience – with a helping hand from LPGA-USGA Girls Golf.

David Chmiel is manager of member content for the USGA. Email him at dchmiel@usga.org. You can play a vital role in the USGA's commitment to Drive Golf Forward. Click here to donate now. 

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