The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

SBCC golfer hopes to continue playing at the professional level

Jack Landis
Vanessa Watkins Poses with her club, Thursday, Oct. 12 on the West Campus meadow. Watkins is a sophomore at SBCC and is a stand out player on the golf team shooting under 80 each match.

City College golfer Vanessa Watkins is establishing herself as a presence this season and works hard to reach her goal of golfing at the professional level.

Watkins, a sophomore from Arroyo Grande, California, has shot under 80 in every contest this season as the Vaqueros have gotten off to a good start.

“I really enjoy golf because it’s an individual sport,” said Watkins. “You can rely on your team, I’m not saying it isn’t a team sport. I think personally you can see how much growth you’ve made through your practice.”

The effort put in by Watkins has been noted by her teammate and roommate Jessica Safford.

Story continues below advertisement

“Vanessa grinds. She has put more work, time and money into this sport than anybody I have ever played with,” said Safford. “She has been dedicated and passionate since day one. I know that if she’s not home, she’s either at the range or school, getting work done so that she can go to the range.”

Along with the importance of practice comes health, which Safford says she stays on top of.

“She is smart when it comes to taking care of herself, eating right and getting to bed at a decent hour,” said Safford. “She knows what it takes to be a good athlete.”

On Aug. 28, Watkins shot a career best of 70 and has consistently produced similar numbers in her outings since then.

To watch Vanessa play is inspiring,” said Safford. “Her swing is fluent, easy, and strong. Her game proves that she has been playing for many years. When I see her play I feel confident in not only her, but myself. She makes me strive to be number one.”

Teammate Juliet Parsons said Watkins is “very supportive” and a “role model” for the rest of the girls on the team.

“Vanessa is very hardworking. She strives to reach her goals,” said Parsons. “When practice is over, she’s the last to leave. She’s very determined. If she hits a bad shot, she doesn’t let that affect the rest of her game. She keeps her head up.”

Watkins began playing golf at a young age with her step-father as a way to grow closer to him.

“I first started playing golf when my parents got divorced when I was young,” said Watkins. “My step dad and I did it as a thing to get to know each other until I was around 5 or 6. We kept doing it over the years and now we have a great relationship and he’s my coach.”

According to Watkins, he is largely responsible for her development in golf.

“My dad really helped me. He was strict when I was younger, in pushing me and my brother to play golf. We had vigorous schedules in summer, practicing over six hours a day straight.”

All of her practice has enabled the possibility for Watkins to land a golf scholarship where she hopes to pursue a professional career in golf.

“I got a couple offers for scholarships next year,” said Watkins. “Ever since I was little I wanted to be professional. I think that’s still the goal right now. I want to go to Cal Poly or Northridge.”

Watkins will continue to work hard on her craft as she hopes to edge closer towards her dream.

“All she wants to do is improve her game and keep working hard at it,” said Parsons. “Whatever she sets her mind to, she will accomplish it. That’s just the kind of person she is. She sets goals and strives to work even harder to get there.”

City College has taken first place in most of its tournaments this season including its home match on Sept. 11, at the Santa Barbara Golf Club.

The team will compete next at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 16, at the Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena.

More to Discover