Four years ago, LPGA Futures Tour golfer Seul-Ki Park concluded her Illini career with the third-lowest career average in program history. Has it really been that long, Park wonders. Nowadays, instead of a team pushing her, it’s just Seul-Ki, her instructor and her trainer. She’s seen peers give up at this point and decide professional golf is not for them. Seul-Ki, on the other hand, is more committed to her dream than ever, as she shares this week on Sam’s Dream Blog.
Listen to Seul-Ki talk about her dream journey, and read more afterward!
Sam's Dream Blog: What’s your dream?
Seul-Ki Park: My dream is to go out there and win multiple LPGA Tour events. Pretty much to be the No. 1 player, the best player as a female professional golfer.
SDB: Give readers a sense of how competitive it is.
Seul-Ki Park: There are a lot of good players out there, but you also have to realize that the little changes you’re making, or the little improvements you are making, are so small, particularly at this level. When I was playing junior golf or college golf, I was able to make a lot of improvements in a short amount of time. Now the improvements that I’m making in my game are going to take time. They are not going to happen in an instant. That’s what every player out there is going through.
SDB: You could be working on your game every waking moment. How do you set boundaries?
Seul-Ki Park: I had an experience last year when I was going through all my swing changes. I was injuring my abs when I was swinging. I was always out at the range hitting ball after ball and trying to figure it out. You can’t just hit ball after ball for hours to prepare for a tournament. There are other things you need to do to rest your body in order to perform your best during a tournament, or you need to work on different aspects of your game versus one thing.
What happened was, I injured myself during a tournament. I strained my ab muscle so I had to withdraw from the tournament. Then I had to sit out for about a month and a half. That’s when I learned that I need to catch myself when I am really pushing myself. It’s good that you’re focused and you’re determined and you’re committed, but you need to see the bigger picture. Is this going to help me in the future?
SDB: Golf is pretty consuming, isn’t it?
Seul-Ki Park: It does get tough. You’re at a different place week after week. You’re obviously going to a tournament to win every time. Time flies. Once the season starts in March, it’s pretty busy through September. Golf or any other sport that you’re doing at a professional level has to become your lifestyle and not your job. Golf is something that you can do every single day, rain or no rain. That’s where you kind of have to watch yourself.
SDB: What have you learned?
Seul-Ki Park: As I find out more and more about the game and the players, I’ve had to find my own place. That’s something I struggled with my first year on Futures Tour. I played in the tournaments, but I was so inconsistent with my routine. Some players were doing this, so I’d try to do that. Other players would practice two or three rounds before the tournament, so I’d try to do that. Physically, I’d be too tired playing three practice rounds going into a tournament. What I’ve learned is how important a routine is for me, a routine that fits my needs.