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Women’s Player of the Year – Kelsey Chugg
Following her three victories in Utah Golf Association events in 2022, Kelsey Chugg used phrases such as “joy” and “spark” to describe her renewed attitude about the game.
Summarizing a season that produced her fifth UGA Women’s Player of the Year award, Chugg kept coming back to one key word: “Fun.”
Sure, winning a fifth Women’s State Amateur title is fun, and the same is true of the UGA Winterchamps and the Mary Lou Baker Open. Yet none of those achievements may have been possible if not for Chugg’s rejuvenated approach to golf at age 31. The fun came before the wins.
“When you put so much into it and you’re not seeing the results you want, it becomes really challenging and not fun,” Chugg said. “I just wanted to go back to the reasons why I started playing.”
To have fun again, in other words, being outdoors and being around friends. Stemming from her victory in the 2017 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, Chugg had traveled and played in a lot of tournaments for the next four years, while dealing with her own heightened expectations. Somewhere along the way, she lost the joy that gave once gave her.
So she took a break from the game from November through February, focusing on her job as the associate director of Salt Lake City Golf. The exception was the putting mat in her basement, where she and longtime coach Lynsey Myers, the head professional of Willow Creek Country Club, overhauled her stroke.
It worked. If any aspect of her game defined Chugg’s 2022 season, it was putting. The success started with Winterchamps in March, where she “felt like the old me again,” Chugg said. “I hadn’t felt that way in a long time.”
Chugg then earned Player of the Year points by reaching the round of 16 in the U.S. Women’s Four-Ball in Puerto Rico with Julia Potter-Bobb in April, before winning the Mary Lou Baker Open in tough weather conditions at Fox Hollow Golf Course in June.
Read more from Fairways Media senior writer Kurt Kragthorpe in the November issue of Fairways magazine.