In the summer of 2012, I first stepped on to Columbia’s campus, and I knew that this was the place for me. Since then, I have seen that#OnlyHere can I pursue both an Ivy League education and a professional golf careerwhile living in the greatest city in the world.
Being at Columbia under the direction and guidance of Coach Amy Weeks has deepened my love for golf and sparked an interest to pursue a career in professional golf that I had never considered. She made me realize the arbitrary constraints that I had created for myself in the past, which were holding me back from pursuing golf as a career. That’s when I began to realize the possibilities are not limited in what I can create for myself.
Aside from Coach Weeks, I owe much of my success to Dr. Brent Walker, Associate Athletics Director for Championship Performance. I started meeting with him regularly last spring to work on the mental aspect of my game. In particular, he helped me become more mindful in forgiving myself on the course and seeing my misses as learning experiences. Although I had a strong spring season in my sophomore year, going into my junior year, I felt the pressure to do just as well, if not better, in every tournament. I felt like I couldn’t make any mistakes. Dr. Walker turned it around. He encouraged me to acknowledge and perceive my past achievements as a foundation for something greater rather than an expectation that needs to be met. This mindset has helped me to play more fearlessly under pressure and post my career best scoring average this past fall.
Also making a big impact has been my work with Amy Connell, Columbia’s sports nutritionist. Her suggested meal plan has allowed me to fuel my body with purpose, whether I’m recovering from strength training or preparing to play 36 holes. The meal plan also incorporates my class and practice schedule, which helps me to organize my daily meals and stay healthy despite heavy academic and golf demands. Combined with our strength and conditioning workouts, we can see a big difference in our physical strength and fitness on the course, as evidenced by the fact that our team on average hits farther and scores lower in tough conditions than most of our competitors.
As I get ready to embark on the next stage of my career, I have been greatly influenced by Michelle Piyapattra ’14CC. I’ve looked up to her as a role model, and seeing what Michelle accomplished at Columbia and now as a pro has opened my eyes to all the possibilities available to me because of Columbia. I am grateful for all the support and resources available here, thanks our donors’ support of The Fund for Excellence. My Columbia Athletics experience has helped me become a much more competitive player now and equipped me for my future career in the LPGA.
Thank you for all you do. Roar, Lion, Roar!
Jackie Chulya '17CC Women's Golf
PS: To read more about Columbia Women's Golf, visit the Lions' home page at this link.