As a child I was very fortunate. My parents allowed me to participate in any and all activies that I could possible want including: dance, flute lessons, ringette, travelling hockey and more. But I knew even when my golf bag was too big for me and I didn’t fit into golf shoes yet that golf was my sport. I knew that I wanted to be a professional golfer. At that age I didn’t know which career path within being a profession I just knew it had to be golf.
When I was thirteen years old I was playing on the B.A.G.S tour and the T.N.T junior tours and absolutely loving it. I was the youngest by far so I got to play with all the older girls who never seemed to mind even though they were like Cinderella to me and I was their younger step sister. My mom and dad both split time taking me to these events which was the best part because it was my own non sharing time away from my sister Kaitlyn. I especially liked when Dad took me because he would always give me twice the treat money that mom would leave me for the day. At the age of thirteen I felt like I was living the dream. All the members at Saugeen Golf Club where I grew up knew me and always asked how my golf game was going. For my thirteenth birthday I got my first set of Ashley golf clubs which I thought were made for me especially. I learned when I was older they were actually a Nancy Lopez line of clubs.
Fast forward to the following summer and my life changed drastically. My family bought the Goderich Sunset Golf Club and we moved during the spring. I went from golfing in two to three tour events a week to about two a month. It was a lot of hard work those first few months and it took a lot from my family. I became a regular fixture in the Pro Shop working lots of hours. Golf was placed on the back burner. I competed in a few events during the next 5 years just enough to keep my game up.
In the fall of 2006 I attended Georgian College and decided to try out for the Varsity Golf team in hopes of making some new friends. Varsity golf was exactly what I needed. I needed that competitive rush again. I meant my best friend Leanne during this time, she stood up in my wedding. I played Varisty for 2 years, winning a couple tournaments and helping our team to finish second at OCAA and third at CCAA two years in a row. I was named M.V.P for Georgian College both seasons I played.
When I finished college I was greeted back home with open arms and moved up the ranks very quickly. The Pro Shop I would say is the most difficult job at the course, (unless you haven’t had rain in two months then the superintendents job is hardest.) You are the person people call to ask a million question a day. Every problem, complaint, request, question, compliment goes through you. I wasn’t sure I had another 30+ years doing this every day.
So here comes the dream part of the story. I wanted to get my pro status so I could teach golf to all levels of golfers. At the time when I started to take this dream a lot more seriously I didn’t play enough golf and my first attempt I was so nervous it was all my fiancé Kirk could do was get me out of the car. I think he even had to tie my shoes for me that day. The second attempt went better but not good enough. My husband Kirk and I had just got married and I spent the better part of the spring planning a wedding and running a golf course instead of golfing and training. So this spring I thought forget this! I will not fail again I will be successful and my dream will come true. I completely changed my thought process while golfing I worked on my mental, physical and fundamental part of my golf game.
I took up yoga to work on my flexibility and endurance in order to be able to walk and play 36 holes of golf in one day. The day had finally arrived it was here Friday July 4th at 8:33 am. I took to the first tee. I did up my own shoes, I actually ate breakfast, I did my yoga breathing (which I still think sounds ridiculous) and I hit my first tee shot. Not the best tee shot but I managed to get a bogie which Kirk said was awesome.
My nerves were a bit shot when I finished the front nine with a score of 44. I headed to the back nine and refocused threw away those negative shots and hooked my drive. I was thinking what the hell do I do now. I saw Kirks face and saw the pain that must have been duplicated on my face because we thought for that split second I’m done. As much as I like the Cambridge Golf Club I thought to myself on hole #11 I am not coming back to play here I hate hole number four with a passion. Smarten up Ashley and let this dream come true you have worked too hard to throw it away now. On the back nine I finished with a 38. After the lunch break we played the back nine again and I shot 36. This allowed me to relax completely because I knew I had a few shots to work with. It was a long 10 hour day on the golf course, but I got my pro statues and it became the second best day of my life.