Summer of 2012: Women's Golf Balances Work and Play

From the coast of Cape Cod to the beaches of the Dominican Republic, to the banks of Iceland, the Saint Leo women's golfers left their footprints in a plethora of places during the summer of 2012. While the ladies weren't playing golf and preparing for the 2012-13 season, many held summer jobs, took vacations, and just hung out with friends. 

Junior Heather Petronis wins the award of "most traveled" during the 2012 summer. Petronis, a native of New Jersey, was nominated to attend the NCAA Career in Sport Forum in Indianapolis, Ind., where she spent four days listening to seminars about leadership, future opportunities in sports, and how to lead people. 

When she returned home to Northfield, N.J., Petronis resumed her summer job at Greate Bay Country Club as a golf shop employee where she answered phone calls, took inventory, worked in the pro shop, and helped during registration of tournaments. The best part of the job though? "Just being able to take a cart out after work and playing until it gets dark. Or getting there early in the morning and getting a round in before work was really fun."

Petronis, who had never previously been out of the United States, also took a two-week trip in July to visit her boyfriend, Viktor Wikner, in Uppsala, Sweden. "Never being out of the country before, it was an unbelievable experience eating Swedish food, going to Swedish shops, and playing golf over there," Petronis said. 

Ironically, two members of the Lions' women's golf team vacationed in the Domincan Republic at two different times over the summer. Both Alyssa Barrett and newcomer Lauren Petty enjoyed their time on the Dominican beaches, zip lining, and going swimming. While Barrett was back home from vacation she spent the remainder of summer working as a lifeguard at the Falmouth Beaches in Massachusetts. (Click here to see the Falmouth Beaches lifeguards rendition of Carley Rae Jepson's summer hit, "Call Me Maybe". Barrett appears towards the end of the video). Newcomer Lauren Shuford, native of Brooksville, Fla., also spent the majority of her time in the outdoors. The junior enjoyed some jet-skiing, fishing, and scalloping. She also went tubing down Rainbow River, a very popular attraction in central Florida.   

Sophomore Jenna Gimbel spent much of her summer vacation at The Players Club at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. While completing her apprenticeship with the Tour Academy at TPC Sawgrass, she was able to attend the TPC Sawgrass Players Championship and came away with autographs from Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Ricky Fowler, and about 50 other PGA professionals. As one of the highlights of the summer, Gimbel was even able to walk under the ropes with McIlroy for a hole. Gimbel also enjoyed a vacation to Wisconsin where she spent her time visiting with family, rock climbing, jet skiing, zip lining, and four wheeling. In her free time, Gimbel also volunteered with the HUG program, which stands for "Help us Golf", which is a three-day golf experience teaching autistic children the ins and outs of the game. Gimbel calls her experience with HUG "absolutely amazing!" 

Also working for a great cause this summer was sophomore Clare Connolly, who spent some time working with First Team Watch of Washington D.C., an organization that teaches underprivileged children how to play golf. Aside of that, Connolly helped run a golf tournament in memory of her uncle who worked in the real estate business in the area. Hosted by the First Tee Forehand, the tournament was played in memory of him. 

While Gimbel and Connolly were here in the United States working for some great organizations, Ragna Olafsdottir was in her native homeland of Iceland doing some great work of her own. The senior volunteered at a summer golf camp teaching children how to play golf. Aside from working the summer camp, Olafsdottir also worked at a fish market freezing fish. Also out of the country and back home in Colombia was senior Laura Huertas. Huertes enjoyed hanging out with friends, but made an enormous effort to imrove on her game by playing every day over the summer. 

Click here for the Saint Leo women's golf 2012-13 schedule