Maggie: Alright. Scott is here with me now…
Scott: What’s up!
Maggie: …And he has got a story about one young golfer who is working hard to get a spot playing with the best of the best.
Scott: Here is the thing, Maggie. The success for this young lady has taken hours of hard work, determination and even sacrifice. Take a look.
Ginger Howard: I just kind of do this.
Scott: Meet 19-year-old Ginger Howard. With thirteen years of golfing experience under her belt, she plays with the confidence of a veteran.
Ginger: My ultimate goal as a golfer is to become the first African-American to win an LPGA event.
Scott: But to achieve her goal, it takes commitment from her family. Ginger’s mom, Gianna, works the overnight shift as a nurse to support the family of six. And her dad, Robert, quit his job to travel with Ginger on the minor league Symetra Tour, where the crowds and prize money are much smaller than the pros – sacrifices Ginger says she never takes for granted.
Ginger: I’m reminded of it daily, not because they tell me or anything, because I remind myself.
Scott: The road to Ginger’s dream started thirteen years ago when she was just six years old. Her father took her and her younger sister, Robbi, to the driving range where they were quickly spotted by the local pro and asked how long the girls had been playing.
Robert Howard: About fifteen minutes. And he was like, ‘You want to take a look at them.’ I was like, ‘Why?’ He, you know, ‘Robert, they got some really good swings.’
Scott: And what he saw in them became his passion.
Gianna Howard: He recognized the potential and the talent in them but, you know, they were my girls – my little girls. And I wanted other things for them. I wanted them to take ballet lessons and things like that, and he was taking them out to the golf range all the time.
Scott: Ginger and Robbi would go on to win their first competition and many more after that. The family moved to Bradenton, Florida so the girls could hone their skills at the IMG Academy, a famous training institute for young athletes.
Announcer: Ginger Howard from Bradenton, Florida.
Scott: In 2010, Ginger became the first African-American female to compete in the Junior Ryder Cup. Last year, she turned pro and her father started handling her career full-time.
Robert: I’m her father, I’m her PR person, her manager. So, I’m doing a lot of different things for her.
Scott: The Howards spend $85,000 a year to keep Ginger on tour. And with no money to spare for a caddy or for air travel, her father drives them up to 18 hours for some tournaments.
Ginger: It’s difficult being in the passenger seat and dad’s driving those hours, and you’ve got to stay up with him.
Scott: But her coach says it is worth it because success is only a matter of time.
Nathan Bertsch: Ginger’s been ahead of the game for some time now, and her maturity has always been beyond the other girls her age. And it really shows on the golf course.
Scott: And her parents fully support her choice to pursue a pro golf career.
Gianna: We believe that this is a God-given talent.
Robert: This is not about me at all. It’s about, you know, what my girls wanted to pursue and what they wanted, to see themselves be able to give back at a later time in life.
Scott: Ginger has no doubt it is the path she was meant to take.
Ginger: I’m very confident in myself. And I feel like I’m at a point now where nobody can bring me down.
Scott: Now, if you want to work on your swinging…
Scott: Ooh!…Head to the golf page over at Channelone.com.