A Teacher, Coach And Competitor
*Note about the author: Tina is the reigning SCGA One-Day Series Player of the Year after finishing atop the Points List for 2017. One of only two females in the final One-Day Series standings, Tina battled her way to the semifinals of the season-culminating Match Play Championship. When she’s not competing against a male-dominated field, Tina gives back to local youth through mentorship and guidance as a golf coach at a Downey high school.
I love golf. As with most things you adore, you want others to relish in the happiness and joy that you experience. Golf is a great place to meet people, it’s an activity you can enjoy with your spouse and best of all – you can play until you’re 80 years old! At least that’s what I my students both in the classroom and on the course.
I teach math and coach golf at Warren High School in Downey. I’ve been coaching the girls team for the past 12 years and the boys for the last eight. Each year, I try to pass along my love of the game to our youth.
But, kids are a challenge. For the most part, today’s youth doesn’t understand that you need to put in the time. They all expect instant gratification, but as seasoned golfers, we know that’s just not possible. We need to continue to introduce them to the game early on, build a fire and then let it burn throughout high school and hopefully college. It’s something I strive for and the reward of building a golfer is unmatched.
When I’m not coaching, I’m playing. I fell in love with the game about 20 years ago when I reluctantly took a group lesson. Obviously, I became addicted and would practice by myself every night at the range, hitting two large buckets at a time. Once I was fairly consistent, I decided to take it on the course. It was there, on my first official golf hole, that I witnessed my friend drain a hole-in-one. I thought to myself, “well, this seems easy enough.” How silly of me to assume.
Fast-forward a few years and here I am competing in male-dominated tournament fields. Some ask me – how do you play with a bunch of guys? Aren’t you intimidated? Well, the simple answer is that I’m used to it. I am a female golf coach in a male-dominated coaching circle, and I usually play with men during casual rounds. Regardless – I love competition so whether you’re male, female or part Alien, I’ll play.
For those ladies out there who are on the fence about giving these SCGA events a try – I encourage you to go for it. I understand the intimidation factor, but every single tournament experience I’ve had has been positive. The men are encouraging, positive and generally fun to be around. I’ve never felt unwanted. Go out there and give it a try!