Amy Anderson making LPGA tour mark
by Kent Brick
In her third year on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour, Amy Anderson forges ahead along a challenging path. While she’s poised to move into the upper tiers of pro golf, titles and rich purses are not her motivation.
“It’s not about your journey,” Anderson says. “It’s about helping other people on their journey.”
Anderson was raised in Oxbow, south of Fargo, in a family that emphasized work, faith, education and service. Her parents are Mark and Twyla Anderson, members of Cass County Electric Cooperative.
As a young girl, Amy took up golf, and supportive family members and early coaching enabled her to excel. A home-schooled student, Amy graduated from high school at age 16, then entered North Dakota State University. In her collegiate career, Amy set the NCAA record for most career match victories (20), earned league golfer of the year honors four straight years, and earned academic all-American honors. She graduated from NDSU in 2013, with a degree in accounting.
In 2015, her second year as an LPGA player, Amy exceeded $130,000 in earnings, and ended the playing year as the 81st ranked player. A highlight of her year was twice shooting 65 in tour events. While playing the 2015 tour, Amy successfully completed the rigorous certified public accountant exam.
Amy’s results through the first half of the 2016 LPGA season have produced a little less success than she had hoped to achieve.
“I was sort of struggling with my swing, and I was at a plateau and wasn’t making progress,” she says. She said a helpful short game coach has moved into her full-time coach position, and they are making some adjustments to her swing. A best-ever finish in a event – tie for 52nd at the U.S. Women’s Open in July – is a sign the adjustments are working. “My swing is in transition now, but I’m really excited going forward,” Amy says.
As excited as she is about playing progress, Amy says this in not her primary focus.
“My value as a person doesn't come from my performance on the golf course,” she says. “My character is so much more important to me than my golf score. Whether I am at the top succeeding, or if I am struggling, I am going to treat people with the utmost respect. I am going to be kind,” she says.
Amy forged these unselfish values in her North Dakota home. “My parents modeled this every single day for me – the hard work, the integrity, the kindness – always being there if somebody needs a helping hand. They are a huge inspiration to me.”
She carries North Dakota attributes proudly and persistently. “The thing that stands out for me about North Dakotans is hard work – you just put your head down, and persevere no matter what,” Amy says. “And it’s about integrity, always operating with honesty, and treating people really, really well, no matter how they treat you. I’m really grateful for that foundation.”
Calling herself a “process person,” Amy fits improvements in her golf game into her life process. “The results, how you play, of course that’s important, but it's not always in your control,” Amy says. “So it’s just keeping first things first, enjoying the process, and being grateful for every day you have and every opportunity you're given, because you just never know when that's going to be taken away.”
Late last year, Amy seized another big opportunity – across the globe to the continent of Africa.
She joined a team of LPGA players participating in “Golf Fore Africa,” a project dedicated to bringing clean water to African villages and remote areas. “Golf Fore Africa” is a foundation led by LPGA Hall of Fame member Betsy King, who was part of Amy's team. While in Africa, the LPGA players viewed how modern wells are delivering healthy water to villages that have long suffered with contaminated water supplies.
Kent Brick is editor of North Dakota Living. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.