This week’s conversation is with Suzy Whaley, the PGA of America’s first female President.
Prior to being elected President last November, Suzy served for two years as PGA Secretary, and two years as Vice President.
She is also the PGA Owner of Suzy Whaley Golf in Cromwell, Connecticut and the PGA Director of Instruction at the Country Club at Mirasol in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
Suzy is recognized as one of the country’s top golf instructors and has won numerous teaching awards including: Golf Digest Top 50 Instructor, LPGA Top 50 Instructor, Connecticut PGA Two-Time Teacher of the Year, Golf Digest State Teacher of the Year 10 times, and she’s instructed more than 300 children to collegiate golf.
A dual member of the PGA of America and LPGA Teaching & Club Professional division, Suzy was a LPGA Tour member in 1990 and 1993.
She famously qualified and participated in the 2003 Greater Hartford Open, becoming the first woman since Babe Zaharias in 1945 to qualify for a PGA Tour event.
We discuss what that experience was like for her: the pressure that went into competing on the Men’s tour and how she overcame a moment where her nerves got the best of her.
And …. how did that experience prepare her for current role, as she once again finds herself in a similar situation, charting new territory, this time as the leader of a massive organization.
“My philosophy is to be kind, to be prepared, and live my days with joy. It’s never done anything but present opportunities when I live the day like that.”
In This Episode:
- How she feels about being the first female to the lead the PGA of America
- The challenges she’s faced as a female in golf
- Her approach to building strong relationships and caring for those around her
- Transitioning from competitive ski racing to golf and learning about the art of mental game from Dr. Richard Coop
- Learning to regulate her breathing and practice imagery to improve her performance on the golf course
- The pressure that went into competing on the Men’s tour and how she overcame a moment where she completely froze up
- How she looks at pressure versus feeling nervous
- Shaping her vision for the PGA of America and her leadership style
- Her personal philosophy
- What percentage of golf is mental?
- The last time she witnessed mastery: Tiger Woods at the 2018 PGA Championship
- What she hopes the next generation gets right: self-discovery
- The book that’s been a game changer for her… Carol Dweck’s Mindset
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“I always find that whether it’s golf, in skiing or anything else I’ve accomplished, if it’s about other people and you’re doing it for that praise, you’re not gonna get to where you want to get to anyway.”
“I love being where I am and in the moment. I try incredibly hard if I’m with family to be with my family and not be at work. I try incredibly hard when I’m at work to put my full attention to whatever I’m doing there.”
“In today’s environment, things are going so quickly and people find they have less time. I find that time when I’m not trying to do 3 or 4 things in one place that aren’t relevant to what I should be focused on in the moment.”
“I always tell people, if you’re not feeling pressure, you won’t compete at a level that your body’s capable of. I see it as this positive energy that I can create and direct to whatever intention I have.”
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