As a woman, sometimes people may underestimate you. When I go out to a random driving range or play with a random group of golfers—especially older men—and they don’t see my name or know that I play collegiate golf, it’s always fun to see the look on their faces after I take a swing. They are always so surprised when I’m beating or actually competing with them. When it comes to men my age, it’s not very hard to earn respect as a female golfer because they understand that you are going through the same thing as they are and value your work ethic.
Do you have any current endorsements on the table yet?
As an NCAA athlete and being an amateur I am not allowed to arrange any endorsements or agree to anything until I finish golfing which will be at the end of May. Right now, it’s kind of all up in the air.
Is there a process that you will use to choose brands that you align with?
Yes. I definitely want to be able to make sure that I am representing a strong brand and something that I will be proud to represent. I want to be a good role model for girls that have the same passion for golf as me, so I want to make sure whichever brand I am with puts me in the right light.
How are you thinking about your personal brand and how image plays a role in profitability?
I would like to build a strong personal brand and, right now, I believe my brand is unique. First in that, though I am mixed, I consider myself African-American, and there are not many women on the LPGA tour that look like me. Secondly, I will stand out carrying the Woods name.
I also think about Natalie Gulbis. Growing up looking at the LPGA, she was one of my favorites. Natalie really stood out because she’s very feminine and relatable to little girls who like to wear pink and dress up. Her image has really propelled her to be who she is today and be—in the spotlight as one of the most popular female golfers.
What do you think makes you a “Woman of Power?”
What makes me a woman of power is my ability to make my own name. The Woods name can only take me so far. Being able to earn my own college scholarship, make honors, and become the team captain shows that I have the ability to hold my own.
Do you have any advice for young girls that may want to grow up to be a golfer one day?
Be passionate about what you love because it will lead you to success regardless. Whether it will make you millions or not, if you’re doing what you love, you’re going to be happy. Some of the people with the most money in the world aren’t the happiest and that’s something that I’ve really learned. I value my happiness and being able to be where I love and play a sport that I love and that’s what gets me through everyday.
CELEBRATING 10 YEARS! Join us for the landmark 10th Annual Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit hosted by State Farm, March 2–4, 2015, at Fort Lauderdale Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Fort Lauderdale, FL. This exciting, one-of-a-kind executive leadership summit is designed to train, equip and encourage women to become industry leaders, learn career strategies, and discover proven work–life balance techniques. Register Now! http://www.blackenterprise.com/wps