While her academic ability is evident – she’s studying English, General Mathematics, Psychology and Modern History this year – and could easily opt for tertiary studies, the 17 year old’s focus is firmly on playing golf at the highest level.
Recent performances on the course indicate that becoming a professional golfer could well be on the cards for the St Mary’s College student. Earlier this year she won the SA Junior Masters title by a comfortable six shots and has captained the junior State team and represented the senior team. She has played in tournaments interstate and overseas and hopes to test her skills against the best female players in Australia and will be playing all major tournaments.
With a World Amateur Ranking of 1600, Imogen has applied to attend college in the USA which she believes will further her golf, and ultimately win her a place on the LPGA tour.
However, first she must successfully complete her SACE, which is no mean feat given her rigorous training program. Imogen admitted that without the help of her school it may not have been possible to pursue her golfing dream while undertaking Year 12.
“I’m always going to be so grateful for the amount of support St Mary’s has given me,” Imogen told The Southern Cross.
“At the start of this year I was away for three weeks doing tournaments and the amount of flexibility they gave me was amazing…and all the teachers have been so nice and supportive of me.”
Director of Learning, Tracey Thursby, said teachers had been working closely with Imogen to provide the best environment for her to achieve her academic and golfing goals.
“As a school we’ve tried to support Imogen and take away as much pressure as we can,” Ms Thursby said.
“As she’s gone into SACE it’s got more challenging to juggle things so we’ve been right into understanding the flexibilities available in SACE. We’ve organised special provisions such as time extensions and we’ve been able to remove some tasks to lessen the load when she’s been going overseas to play.
“We’re very proud of Imogen, especially being a woman in a traditionally male-dominated sport. So we love to say to her, you go girl!”
Imogen added the school’s career counsellor, Suzanne Megaw, had also provided great assistance with her applications to several US colleges.
Describing herself as a ‘late starter’ when it came to taking up golf, Imogen said she now couldn’t imagine not playing the sport.
“Dad played a little bit when he was younger, but there wasn’t any pressure on me to play…it was mainly initiated by me,” she explained.
“I live just down the road from Kooyonga and they used to have all these junior clinics. I did a few and found some friends and just stuck with it.”
Now a member at Kooyonga and playing off a plus-1 handicap – her lowest has been plus-3 – she said it was a fantastic feeling when everything was going well with her game.
“For me, it’s like I don’t think about anything, it all flows. You just get up and hit the ball. It almost feels like you’re unstoppable.”
Being so good at the sport does require great commitment – and time. There are two or three gym sessions a week and on school days Imogen will be at the course hitting balls early morning and then again after school finishes. On weekends she puts in solid 12-hour days practicing.
As for the future, Imogen says she wants to give golf the “best crack” and see where it takes her.
“I want to go far…a big goal would be winning on the LPGA tour and becoming number one – that would be the overall goal.”
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