YGolf Feature Story: Lucy Davies:
One of the new faces of women's golf

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By Yvonne Thomas

Planes, trains, automobiles--and golf clubs?

Well, that could be the title of the Lucy Davies memoir if she ever decides to write it. Lucy is a 26-year old golf professional, member of the Ladies European tour, and a future star of the game whose name you definitely want to remember. As she chases her dream on golf course fairways around the world, her diary of life as a tour player will take you from airport terminals in Morocco to train stations in the Ukraine. 

A former member of the Cal State Northridge Matadors ladies golf team, Lucy is a perfect example of a potential American golf star who just might have a chance to make it big if and when the planets ever align properly. And planet alignment in the golf world is being able to attract the right sponsors and financial backers. 

Professional golfers just like many other athletes have the difficult challenge of maintaining above average performances on the course as well as working full or part-time jobs to keep a roof over their heads, pay tournament entry fees, as well as plane, train, and/or bus fares to the site of the next tour event.

This is not something the average fan thinks about because the media spends most of its time reporting on the major stars who have endorsements coming out of their ears and very little concern about paying their rent or mortgage each month.

Lucy's story is one of determination and perseverance, and she's one of those believers in the old adage, whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger. The Ladies European golf tour is a world tour that travels to such locations as Africa, China and India. Pretty exotic, right? Well, picture this: 

You're a 26-year-old California woman...
Traveling in an Eastern Bloc country...
With two giant rolling suitcases...
And your golf clubs...
And your backpack with your laptop...
Walking through airports, bus terminals and train stations to reach your hotel...
And most of the people around you don't speak English

Aside from practicing to get your golf game in shape, you've booked your own travel arrangements and bickered with hotel concierges who claim to speak Ukrainian only and are trying to charge you again for your pre-paid room! 

But Lucy doesn't complain about these conditions. Of course there comes a time when I say to myself, why am I doing this? states Davies. But the answer is clear. It all comes down to how badly you want the dream. “These experiences have made me a lot tougher. I’ve definitely learned how to handle people. 

Let's not forget about the real reason she has traveled across the globe. Lucy wants to be a golf pro, and she's doing whatever it takes to make it happen. Making it this far means she has already fulfilled the Q school requirements and received her tour card to be there. Having a tour card means that you have earned the right to play in most of the tournaments, but paying the entry fees and all expenses are up to the individual golfer.

Although she loves the European tour, Lucy acknowledges the difficulty of continuing to play on it. Golf is a very expensive sport that prices people out. There's a lot of talented players that don't get the opportunity to go forward, she says. 

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Nike took a lot of heat when it ran an ad about Tiger Woods with a quote from him saying, "Winning takes care of everything." Lots of people got their feathers ruffled because they ignored the fact that he was talking about his golf game. Not his personal life. They also blatantly ignored the fact that, well, he's right. In sports, winning does take care of everything. 

Winning on the women's tour means that you make more money. Money means that you can hire a coach, a caddy, a team, or maybe even just bring a friend that can fight with the hotel concierge on your behalf. Lucy says, "It's like the chicken and the egg. You can't make money until you start winning and attract sponsors." And you can't start winning and attract sponsors if you're not playing in the tournaments. 

"My year on the LET helped me get so much better at marketing myself," says Lucy. In addition to practicing her game, she spends an inordinate amount of time fundraising for herself such as hosting tournaments, teaching, and coming up with business ideas to attract investors. That's a full-time job in itself. It doesn't give me the chance to reach the highest level I'm capable of, and my biggest challenge is trying to balance both of those worlds. The tour is run well, but I have struggled with the dilemma of being two people," she says.

Lucy has also discovered that she might need to take an entire year off to raise money so that she can comfortably afford to play on the tour the following year. For golfers with her predicament, there are mini-tours available around the country that let professionals compete on a regular basis. 

Davies competed in the Cactus mini-tour event in Arizona last year. She says these events are really not about making money, but are important for keeping your competitive skills in tact. She used these events to prepare for the Canadian Women's tour which is a little more prestigious.

We live in a world where the spotlight often shines on successful people after they've reached the top. We would all probably be better served if we were able to watch the road they've traveled while on the way up. With the obstacles Lucy is facing following the path of a professional golfer, is hers an impossible dream? Not for people that refuse to give up. 

"I will find a way to do this. I will get my finances settled," Lucy defiantly states with a spark in her eye. This hill she is climbing is part of the path to reaching her dream. She loves golf, and she believes she has the skill to take her straight to the top. So when adversity hits, it's very important for her to remain focused on the things that give her hope. 

Lucy is a big Beyonce fan and admires the entertainer's honesty, passion, and her commitment to empower women. Hopefully 2013 will be the year that the planets align and give Lucy the opportunity to strut her stuff on the course like Beyonce does on stage. Destiny's Child had a hit song that championed independent women awhile back. Young women all over the world are battling the odds and following their dreams no matter what it takes. So one day soon, if you hear someone shout out "I Love Lucy," they might not be watching a classic TV show, they just might be out on a golf course.  

To follow Lucy's season, check out her blog at www.lucydaviesgolf.com