Updated: May 9, 2021
Name: Sophia Sarrazin
1. When did you start playing this sport? What got you interested in the sport?
So I first started playing when I was 9. I started playing with my dad because we wanted to find something we could do together. I went to my first lesson, and I actually really liked it, so I just kept going, kept playing and eventually I started playing in tournaments, playing more competitively. And I just really liked it and I liked the challenge. Now here I am.
So how did you start off playing casually with your dad to attending big tournaments and competitions?
It started as just my dad and I playing for fun and then, I don’t even know what it was, but he was just like, “Maybe we try a tournament, like why not?” Once you start playing the little kid’s tournaments you’re like, “Okay, maybe I can start winning the bigger tournaments.” And then that's when it's like “I want to see how far I can go.”
So do you enjoy the competitive aspect?
I love it, it's really difficult sometimes because golf is such a mental sport [and] it just requires so much mental focus. Even by the end of a round, you’re so mentally exhausted because you have to think so much. There's a lot of different things involved and I think that's what keeps it interesting. It makes it super fun and competitive.
So every game is different depending on the course, right?
Yes, exactly! The cool thing about golf is that you’re always playing a different
course. So you're always getting a different experience whether it's different grass, different weather, different people. There's always different variability and that's what makes it more difficult but also more interesting.
2. What is your favorite part of playing this sport?
For me, I think it's the nervousness that you feel before hitting a shot, it's what makes it fun and different. Because you're always going up to a new situation, so you’re thinking about it, you're trying to figure out what's the best club to hit with. It's also about the execution of the shot and I think that excitement is what I love about it and that you can always get better. There’s literally no point where you can say, “Oh I’m the best I can be.” No, you can always improve, which is great because you don’t get bored.
3. How much work have you put into this sport? How often do you practice?
So in the summer, I practice literally every single day for so many hours and I love it. I practice with my friends and that helps, we do competitions together and simulate playing tournaments which is super fun. And then in the winter, I try to travel as much as I can. It’s good to be able to have a goal to strive for which is what I’ve been working towards. Even this past month (March) I went to North Carolina, I practiced every single day for hours and I love it. Because you know that you're working towards a goal and you can see the improvement.
How do you practice golf?
I take a certain amount of time to work on my drills and a certain amount of time to just hit shots, repetition is so important too. Then I take some time to simulate the nervousness on the course, so maybe I’ll do a competition with my dad or with one of my friends to a certain target that I have to hit. And then you do that with chipping and putting as well. It's working on your mental game and your different skill sets.
4. What is your crowning achievement in this sport? What are you most proud of?
I’ve won quite a few tournaments that I’ve been super proud of. I’m really happy with how much I’ve been able to travel and how much I've been able to meet great people and play such amazing courses. I won two AJGA’s which is the Junior Golf Association; a lot of good players play it. And then I won the Connecticut Women’s AM which was super cool because I got to play with people of all ages and the fact that I was able to win was incredible. I also got to play with some really good players who knew a lot about the game because they were older and had been playing for longer than I had. I think that overall I've had a lot of really good experiences and achievements that I’m really happy about.
Especially in golf, there are a lot of times where I can get down on myself like a lot of other players. Since it's such a mentally-focused game, when you have those tough days it's really hard to come back and motivate yourself to practice. [So] when I have streaks of bad days playing, I’m proud of myself for not giving up and using that failure to motivate myself to practice more instead of staying sad.
5. What do you hope to accomplish in the future? Do you plan to continue playing in college?
I definitely want to play in college, play for a team, that would be the ideal situation. If I’m good enough to play pro that would be a dream, obviously I’m not at that point where I can tell yet. But I just know that I want to keep on playing in my college career no matter how good the team is or how good the school is, that is my hope for the future.
What sort of steps would you have to take to pursue that type of future?
I have to start emailing coaches, not quite yet but soon. And continue playing tournaments, keep getting my name out and just showing that I’d be a good asset to someone’s team. Also a big part of it is not only the numbers, but how you react to playing poorly, how you react to missing a short put. You just have to show coaches that you have sportsmanship aside from the skill, that you're a nice person and you get along with their team. All that goes into what school you pick.
Any final words you’d want other people to know?
When I first started, I never thought I’d be where I am, trying to get into division one schools and I’m super happy that I have the opportunity to talk to coaches like that. If you start something, just know that there’s never any end to it, you can succeed so much and you don’t even know how much you can [until you try it].