Hey Gator fans! My name is Megan Pak and I am a junior on the UF Women’s Golf team. I am majoring in English with a minor in Mass Communications. After I complete my time here as a Gator, I hope to become a sports reporter or an anchor on the Golf Channel or ESPN. As your blog rep for the UF Women’s Golf team, I plan on posting blogs monthly to keep everyone up to date on what’s been going on with the team.
Growing up, I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, but five years ago, I moved to Bradenton, Florida to attend the David Leadbetter Golf Academy (DLGA). The DLGA is an academy where I was able to attend school for four hours and practice golf with certified teaching professionals for the rest of the day. DLGA allowed me to obtain school credits while getting top-notch golf instruction at the same time. The coolest thing about this academy was not that it helped me transition into a UF student-athlete lifestyle, but it opened the door for me to meet some of my future teammates. The UF Women’s Golf team consists of seven girls, five of whom also attended the DLGA. This is one of the unique aspects of our team: friendships were already established prior to joining UF. The fact that more than half of our team went to the same academy has, over time, enabled us to become a very close team. Another unique aspect of our team is that we have a global presence. We have two international athletes who not only represent the Gators, but also their respective countries. Two-time SEC Golfer of the week, Camilla Hedberg from Spain, and All-SEC Second Team member, Mia Piccio from the Philippines have been great teammates. Even our head coach, Jan Dowling, comes from Ontario, Canada. Both Coach Jan and assistant coach, Emily Bastel, come into the program with a wealth of knowledge and experience level that the team can only take advantage of. Coach Jan competed professionally for two years and also competed on the Golf Channel show called, “The Big Break.” Emily also competed on tour, scoring two top ten finishes. Some of the team members aspire to become golf professionals on the LPGA Tour as well. So, we are lucky to have Coach Jan and Emily here to mentor us every step of the way to mentor us as we graduate and set out to pursue our career goals.
In addition to our knowledgeable coaches, we will soon have access to facilities that will allow us to maximize our practice potential. We are now in the process of building one of the most advanced facilities in college golf. Our amazing Gator Boosters, along with former Gator greats that are now on the PGA Tour, were able to secure $400,000 for this project and we couldn’t be more excited. The new facility is not only bigger, but it gives us the opportunity to work under high-speed cameras on all aspects of our game. We are lucky to have so much support for the Gator golf team. With the new building in progress and a recent win at our home tournament, it seems as if the Gator golfers are headed in the right direction.
The UF Women’s Golf team is composed of talented, determined, hard-working individuals, and I am proud to say I am part of such a respectable group. Since my first few days on campus, I knew I had made the right choice to come here. I look forward to sharing with you our experiences and daily grind as a UF athlete. Check back in every few weeks to get a unique perspective along with insider information about this great group. Go Gators!!!