My name is Cami and I am a 15-year-old Swiss golfer.
I started to play golf when I was 3 years old thanks to my parents. They tell me that every chance I got, I’d pick up a branch and I’d start whipping it around. My first home club was very close to my house and my whole family used to go play golf every weekend and some weeknights. My siblings and I took golf classes with the other kids. I always enjoyed being there, on that driving range. I grew up with it and never stopped loving the sport. Our golf club started struggling and as the years went by, less and less people showed up and soon enough, I was the only golfer my age at the club. Although I liked playing with my family, I found that my greatest enjoyment was participating in local junior tournaments which brought me together with other golfers my own age. That is how at age 10 I started participating in many U12 tournaments. As we live on the language border within Switzerland, I was mostly playing golf with German speaking kids whereas I spoke French and a little English. But I was just starting to learn German in school so with the help of my new golfing buddies I learnt it as fast as I could so that I could communicate with them. Tournaments were a big deal for me because I always wanted to do the best I could and have something to be proud of. Just before turning 12, I gave up downhill ski racing which was the other sport I was competing at a high level in so that I could devote myself entirely to golf.
In 2019, when I was 12 years old, I finished 2nd at the Swiss National Championship in the U12 category and then went on to win the Swiss National U12 Final after a nerve wrecking play off against my best friend. After this big win, I was recruited into Switzerland’s elite junior golf training program, the Regional Kaders where I met my coach and many new golf friends. The weekly trainings were in Solothurn which was an hour drive away from my house. In the beginning it was really hard for me because I was at 12 years old by far the youngest in the group and the only native French speaker amongst all German speaking adolescents. In addition to continuing to work on my German, at this point I started really working on my English as my coach is English and does not speak any French. My mother who is originally American had spoken some English to me when I was a child, so I already had some basics, but now, thanks to golf I found myself expanding my language skills exponentially. At the same time as I joined the Kader, my whole family and I changed home clubs to a much more dynamic and sporty golf club. I joined their junior interclub team and we played against Switzerland’s best other Juniors. I loved being part of a team. But I also loved competing individually and I continued playing regional and national tournaments all over Switzerland. I of course had lots of ups and downs, which was not always easy, but I enjoyed always meeting new people and making new friends. My U13 year, 2020, was particularly challenging for me as I was competing against older girls who had developed physically a lot earlier than I did. But I still enjoyed the competitive aspect of theses tournaments. The Kader coach quickly became my personal coach as we got along very well, and I really enjoyed working with him. He has since helped me a lot along my golf career. He taught me not only about golf technique, but he also taught me a lot about behavior, mental strength, and plenty of other interesting aspects of the game. In 2021, I had my first international selection and represented Switzerland in a match against Germany. It was a great experience. We were a real team, giving each other advice and support. And at the end of the day, we were holding the trophy in our hands and smiling for the photos. That same year, which was my U14 year, although I continued to lag my competitors in body weight and height, I finished 3rd at the Swiss U14 Final and fought hard for second place in the end of season Swiss Junior Matchplay Master in the U14 category. I was happy with my results.
In 2022, which was my first U16 year, I started playing more and more international tournaments in which I was often the only girl from Switzerland. I gained a lot of experiences by playing outside of Switzerland and meet lots of new people. Until this day, I continue to play tournaments in other European countries, alone or accompanied by my mother and I will always remember these experiences and travels fondly. In 2022, at the Swiss National Junior Championship I was the youngest competitor in the U18 category. The first two days I played well and made the cut. Only fifteen girls made the cut, so I had to work hard on myself to not feel too much pressure for the last 36 hole day of the tournament. I ended up finishing 4th in the U16 category of the tournament which was a big result for me. My other big achievement that year was being recruited by my home club into their Womens A1 Interclub team. I was competing with and against the very best adult women of Switzerland, but that didn’t scare me. I saw it as a challenge. On the second day of the tournament, I even started with a very nice and memorable albatross! Our team finished well ranked, and I have already been asked to play with them again in 2023 which I really look forwards to.
At the end of that summer(2022), I changed high schools and went to a private school in the hopes of having a bit more flexibility than in the very strict Swiss public school system and thus be able to better continue to work on my golf. This did not end up being the case and I quickly realized it wasn’t going to be the right solution for me as I barely had time to practice. I was missing the sports and the balance between golf and school. I wasn’t as happy as I used to be and that was because of being unable to play the sport I love. My coach and parents helped me find a new school solution where golf would be an integral part of my everyday life. That is how in the fall of 2022, I moved to southern Spain to join the Sotogrande International School which is partnered with the Jason Floyd Golf Academy. I will complete my high school there and graduate in 2025. I decided to go there not just because of the warm weather and the good year-round golf playing conditions but in particular for the great coaching team, the facilities and the abundance of extraordinary golf courses in the area. Five days a week we have a rigorous 4-hour training session which includes technical work, but also an hour of gym workout and mental coaching and we play on courses every weekend when we are not playing tournaments. I put a lot of effort into every minute of training every day. And knowing how to dose the different aspects of training is very important and I am now learning how to do it. Being able to attend such a high-quality school while literally living on a golf course and being able to play plenty of golf every day is a dream come true for me. I also enjoy living with other teenagers who have the same goals and passion as me. The Sotogrande International School has a great program for sport students like me and it prepares us well to go off to college in the U.S. They teach us how to balance sports and school which is important to ensure the best possible prospects for the future. This program will help me get where I want to get with my golf career all while getting a good education.
Wylihof junior interclubs/2020-present
Whylihof Women A1 interclubs/2022-present
Jason Floyd Golf Academy/2022-present
2022 - Scoring Average 81.32
Tournament | R1 | R2 | R3 | R4 | Score | Course | ERG Points | Position
- Swiss Golf JTE | 83 | 82 | Score: 165 | Golf Club de Sierre | 59.33 | Position: 3
- Swiss Golf JTE | 82 | 77 | Score: 159 | Golfclub Emmental | 21.44 | Position: 11
- Championnat du Léman | 89 | 83 | 92 | 80 | Score: 344 | Golf Club de Genève | 8.6 | Position: 12
- Swiss National Championship U18-U16 | 81 | 79 | 81 | 81 | Score: 322 | Golfpark Zürichsee | 60.74 | Position: 15
- Zürcher Meisterschaft | 83 | 83 | 80 | Score: 246 | Golf & Country Club Zürich | 70.88 | Position: 5
- French Junior Classics | 85 | 79 | 83 | Score: 247 | Golf du Kempferhof | 0 | Position: 11
- Weinmarer Land Junior International | 84 | 79| 80 | Score: 243 | Golf Resort Weinmarer Land | 0 | Position: 9
- Triple A European Invitational | 86 | 83 | 76 | Score: 245 | RCG Sotogrande | 35.41 | Position: 5
- Portugese Intercollegiate Open | 88 | 82 | 82 | Score 252 | Penha Longa | 0 | Position: 13
- Atlantic Youth trophy | 78 | 77 | 85 | Score: 240 | Penha Longa | 133.98 | Position: 5
Triple A European Open March 2023 (73-81-82) | Position: 7th
Danish Junior International Girls April 2023 (82-75-78) | Position: 5th
Blokhus Junior Open Girls April 2023 (76-82-72) | Position: 15th
Swiss Golf Junior Tour 2 April 2023 (78-84) | Position: 7th
Triple A World Series Final April 2023 (79-78-81) | Position: 6th
Swiss Golf Open Championship June 2023 (79-77-88-78) | Position: 13th
Swiss Golf Junior Tour June 2023 - (76-73-82) | Position: 15th
1er Open de Bonmot - Trophee "Henri Ferdinand Lavanchy" Jul 2023 (73-82-84) | Position: 13th
Swiss National Championships U/16/U18 Girls Jul 2023 (72-83) | Position: 18th
Swiss Golf Junior Tour 5 Aug 2023 (75-77-79) | Position: 13th
North of England U16 Girls Aug 2023 (84-79) | Position: 19th
Additional sporting info
2022- Scoring Average: 81.32
What makes you different?
What makes me different is having succeeded in overcoming the hardship of many years of constant unkind mockery because of the sports I practiced and loved, and what I have learned about myself from this experience.
I grew up being passionate about sports. I never met a sport I didn’t was to practice and excel at as a kid, but I quickly became obsessed with golf as my favorite sport. Where I grew up, in rural Switzerland, golf is not only not popular, but it is seen as a very foreign, elitist, and privileged occupation. Thus, at school I was always known in a derogatory way as “the golfer”. This was not always easy for me. It started in primary school and then the discrimination got even worse in junior high school. I was labelled and often made fun of and as the years went by, it never stopped, it only got worse. My first year of high school in particular was a notable low point for me. I had a tough time making lots of friends and being a very social person. I also had long commutes to the golf course where my determination was further put to the test as there were very few of us juniors training and there were no girls! It wasn’t always easy for me to persevere in the face of so much mockery, brow beating and loneliness, but I continued to play golf with passion, refused to be ashamed of it, and had faith that at some point I would find a place I would fit in. Through this period I did make a few loyal and supportive friends at school and that helped me too.
Finding a way to get through those challenging years helped me become the person I am today. Trying to get by in such a critical, judgmental and narrow-minded environment brought me at times very low and I often had a hard time ignoring them. It took me years of reflection, courage and braveness to grow and move on from this difficult time and the cutting words. But I made it and today, I feel unstoppable. I committed fully to golf at the age of 12 after giving up on my other favorite sport that I was good at which was ski racing. Golf is not just a sport for me, it is freedom. Golf is where I eventually met my best friends. It’s where I learned to speak two new languages (English and Swiss German). Golf is where I don’t feel judged or pointed at. Golf is where I get to laugh a lot. But most importantly, golf for me is a life lesson. Golf has taught me more than a school ever has and ever will. I learned respect. I learned hard work. I learned fair play. I learned to channel frustration. I learned discipline. I learned to appreciate the “ok” shots. I learned I learned what it’s like to be disappointed and proud all at the same time! If golf has taught me so much over the years, I’d like to believe it’s because I am always trying to improve and be a better version of myself.
Why do you want to compete in college?