Inside the Ropes: Make Your Best Comeback

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Inside the Ropes: Make Your Best Comeback

Whether you’re headed back to school, back to work, or back into the golf scene, many of us hope to reenter the fray readier than ever before.
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Written By:

Allie White

Allie White is a professional golfer from farmland Ohio. She spices her playing career up with a dash of college coaching experience, a masters degree in Journalism, and mediocre guitar skills.

Winter in Ohio is, well, cold. Snowmen and pro golfers usually don’t cohabitate very well. But I’m here in Ohio, and I’m sure there are a few other pros braving northern landscapes this winter as well. Don’t worry – we are okay! I have rarely been a person to take the obvious road to anywhere, and so it goes with my golf career as well.

I’ve played professional golf since 2013, and over the course of my career, I’ve competed in a handful of LPGA tournaments, one US Open, and two State Opens that I won. Beyond that, I’ve been grinding to make cuts on the Symetra Tour, which fields around 140 of the most talented LPGA Tour hopefuls from over 20 countries around the world. It’s stiff competition—a bit like hungry piranhas circling for an opening to feed.

Deciding to take a break from playing professionally was hard, but unless a golfer can make it through the frenzy and onto the LPGA Tour—or has a stable sponsor—exerting the necessary resources to continue financially, emotionally, and physically is intense. At some point, I realized I wanted to start laying the groundwork for other potential careers.

I was curious to explore my passion for storytelling and mentoring young players, so when I was presented the opportunity to pursue a master’s degree in Journalism and work as a Graduate Assistant Golf Coach at Ohio University, I found a sweet fit for the next phase of my life.

So, in 2016, I moved from North Carolina—Go Heels!—back home to Ohio to coach it up, drink coffee, write papers, and get in touch with my rural roots.

 

 

My graduate assistantship was an incredible learning experience, and it isn’t surprising that it’s actually a fairly common path for former professional players to take, even if those who coach rarely wind their way back to competitive golf after coaching. Regardless of where my future road leads, I will always be grateful to the Bobcats for putting me through graduate school and giving me the opportunity to work with some of the most incredible collegiate golfers I’ve ever known.

As much as I enjoyed coaching, when I finished my degree, I knew I wanted to play professional golf again. But what made me think that I could make it onto a bigger stage this time?

Well, grad school-summer, I fired up my Batmobile (which is much cooler than just saying I got in my Prius) and entered an LPGA Monday qualifier. On a particularly drizzly day in far off Kitchener, Canada, all that stood between me and a chance of qualifying for my first ever LPGA event was sinking a 15-foot putt. I had been putting better than usual that day, and I had a good feeling I would drain it as I watched it roll towards the hole. Then, BOOM! In. The. Hole.

Later that week, on cut day at the LPGA Manulife Classic, I watched another putt, this time a 60-footer, trickle down a gnarly tiered green and fall into the hole. Then, I finished off my two-round, two-under performance with a nervy up and down. Despite the odds, I had done it! I made my first LPGA cut on the number and actually made a nice paycheck that week.

From that point forward, I truly have felt like I have what it takes to play competitively in a way that I haven’t felt in the past.

 

 

I used to think of myself as a solid Symetra Tour player, but now, I feel the difference between the LPGA and the Symetra Tour is closing, and I am left wondering more than ever if my best stuff is yet to come.

There’s only one way to know for sure.

Like most, what we strive for is rarely presented as a clear and easy path. Instead, the road tends to snake and overlap with little stumbles and triumphs mixed along the way.

You can probably relate to wanting to make your comeback, and that your best stuff is yet to come too. Maybe, like me, you’ve had the chance to take a detour and now you’ve found yourself ready to go after it again. You’re buying self-improvement books, cranking out crunches, yearning for yoga . . .  Let’s go already.

So, without further delay, hello! My name is Allie White. Some people call me A-Dog, A-Train, Little Bob . . . feel free to mix it up. It’s going to be fun shaking off my rust on the links and writing in a non-academic setting. (It’s just great to be able to use an exclamation mark again!)

In this series, follow along with updates on how my season is going, check out my thoughts on coaching, and what life is really like inside the ropes.

But for now, with winter here in the stoic Appalachian foothills of southern Ohio, there’s still a bit of time before I get to tee off in a golf tournament. As I prepare for what lies ahead, I think in the end, there may be a real satisfaction in knowing that “you did it your way” like Sinatra. And that you gave it your best, like the 2018 Browns (we are back!).

So, with that, I wish you a great journey back to whatever it is that’s calling you, and I look forward to sharing my journey no matter where it takes me.

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Brian Brakebill

I’m thrilled that I will get to see you competing again. I’m a forever fan! Best of luck this season.

Allie White

Thank ya Brian! See you and the lens out there soon (talk about talent!).

Angie McDonald

Great reading Allie! Im so happy for you and your decision to return to golf! You are such a talented and sweet young lady! Hope to see you soon out there!

Allie White

Thank you so much! Hope all is well!

Tallicia Enright

Such talent and poise. Love you dearly friend!

Allie White

Thank you Tish! I am lucky to have your friendship!

Gary Vincent

Best wishes on the tour and with the blog, Allie! (Exclamation Point) As a former colleague of your dad at Successful Farming I’m following your career with great interest.

Allie White

Hey Gary, thank-you. My Dad was telling me about some of your communication achievements and I appreciate the shout out from a real top dawg!

Marcia Hall

I’m glad to know you will be back. I always like to follow your progress. I’m a Denver fan.

Carol Peffer

I remember you from the Ohio Jr. Girls ….good luck in all you do.

Max Gosc

Allie!!! It’s Max from Blackthorn!!! Do I get to see you again in June!?!?!? Don’t get me excited for nothing!!! I’ve missed you!!! Please tell me you’re coming back to Blackthorn in June so I get to see you!!! My Grandpa and I were just talking about you the other day!!!

Rade Savich

Good luck “Ohio Farmer” :):): lol.