Pernilla Lindberg is a Swedish professional golfer on the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour. In April 2018, she won her first professional tournament/Major Championship at the ANA Inspiration. Lindberg played college golf in the at Oklahoma State University, and graduated in May 2009 with a bachelor's degree in international business. She joined the Futures Tour in June 2009 and qualified at the end of the year for both the LPGA Tour and the LET for 2010. As a youth in Sweden, she was also an alpine ski racer. Check her out on insta.
With this being my tenth season on the LPGA tour, I guess I am somewhat of a veteran but I still have so many great memories of college. This is my fifteenth year calling the U.S. home after spending my first four years as a student-athlete at Oklahoma State University. One of the most asked questions I get from younger girls is about college golf and if they should go down that path. Even if you’re not sure golf will be part of your career path or not I say “yes” every time!
I can with confidence say that I would not have made it to where I am today if it was not for my college golf experience. I got to play and practice at a top-facility every day and travel the country playing against the best college golfers. Many of us play on the LPGA tour today.
For me, as an international student-athlete from Sweden, I arrived in the USA not being able to communicate in English very well, but college forced me to learn English and get comfortable speaking it which prepared me for living in America and playing on the LPGA tour after I graduated.
However, being a student-athlete and everything that it taught me would have prepared me for a life away from golf even if I had made the decision not to turn professional back in 2009.
If you get the opportunity to play college golf you are not signing up to be a golfer for life. In fact, you’re opening up your options for the future, getting the chance to learn life-long lessons, while at the same time playing college golf for four years. Perhaps the most important thing though: attending college as a student-athlete is a lot of fun! You instantly become independent, you will meet new people everyday and make new friends for life. You will learn what you're capable of and push yourself to a whole new level.
Squeezing in workouts, classes, practice, and homework every day might sound stressful but it taught me time management, which is a life skill any job will require you to be good at.
Being part of a group with teammates and coaches can sometimes be tough, but it taught me how to listen to others, compromise, and be a good team member.
Trying to perform in both the classroom and on the golf course while enjoying the college experience is difficult, but it taught me about prioritizing the most important task at hand.
When I arrived at college as an 18 year old I had no idea where golf would take me. I decided to strive to excel in school and on the golf course. I could have decided to be on the golf team while prioritizing school and getting good grades. On the other hand I might have focused on golf ahead of school with the goal of becoming a professional. Both of these options are totally fine.
My point is, golf opens doors for you to find out where your future will take you. It will give you a more exciting college experience and you will come out more prepared for the next chapter of your life, whether that’s life as a professional golfer on the LPGA tour or not.