Katie Futcher – It’s Never Late to Take up Golf
Katie Futcher didn’t grow up wanting to be a golfer. She wanted to be a basketball player. Her basketball dreams didn’t pan out but Futcher has found success on the LPGA Tour instead.
Futcher, who turned 30 on May 14, is unusual among her peers in that she didn’t start playing golf until age 14. But the late start doesn’t seem to have impacted her. Now in her sixth season on the LPGA Tour, she recorded a career-best finish at this year’s Kraft Nabisco Championship, where she tied for third behind Stacy Lewis.
A native of Houston, Futcher was active in a variety of sports growing up, particularly swimming, soccer, and basketball. She dropped her other sports when she reached high school to focus on golf and eventually wound up at Penn State, where she was a two-time All American and a three-time Academic All American.
She also played for the victorious United States team at the 2004 World University Games in Thailand before turning professional in August of that year. She played the FUTURES Tour in 2005 before earning exempt status on the LPGA Tour in the fall of 2005 on her second trip to Q-School.
“5Qs – Five EXEGOLF questions”
How did you get interested in playing golf?
“I got interested in golf because my dad traveled a lot. If I wanted to see him I would have to play with him on the weekends.”
Was there any one particular individual who inspired you to get serious about the game?
“For six years, from my last year of high school until I graduated college, my coach was Carol Mann, the LPGA Hall of Famer. She had a great impact on my career; on my dedication and opening my eyes to different experiences. She told great stories. I would say Carol was one of the people who most influenced me to pursue a professional golf career.”
When you first joined the LPGA Tour was there one player in particular whom you admired and respected?
“I didn’t play golf (as a young girl) so I didn’t know any players but when I first came out on tour I would have to say that Juli Inkster was a phenomenal person to watch. Just the way she conducts herself and how competitive she is and raising a family and still kicking all our tails out here.”
How have your experiences as a professional golfer affected how you look at the world around you?
“I consider myself very blessed to be able to do what I do. It’s not every day that you get to play a sport that you love for a living, travel the world, and meet such interesting and cool people. All the travel makes you appreciate home. It makes you take a step back and say ‘Wow, this is a really cool job.’ It never gets old. We’re pretty lucky to do what we do.”
Who would complete your dream foursome?
“Definitely my sister. She keeps everything very light. I have to say (Penn State football coach) Joe Paterno. I just have to say that (laughing) and Alan Hodde, one of my good friends.”
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