Golfer's GoFundMe to raise money for qualifying school shows how difficult it is to break into professional golf

Shasta Averyhardt wants nothing more than to return to the LPGA Tour, and she’s asking her friends and fans for help.

Averyhardt, a professional golfer, competed on the top circuit in the women’s game for a few months in 2011, but she missed the cut in all seven of her starts. Now, after spending the past two years working at PricewaterhouseCoopers, she’s trying to navigate LPGA Tour Qualifying School, starting a GoFundMe page to support the endeavour.

“I had two years sitting at a desk to realise how important golf was to me and why it’s so important to be the example,” she wrote in the description. “Earlier this year, I partnered with the Women of Colour Golf Organisation based out of Tampa, Florida where their mission is to promote and facilitate the inclusion of minority women and girls into the game of golf. … I decided that I would no longer use time or finances as a reason not to create the platform needed to change the game of golf.”

Averyhardt survived Stage I of Q-School in late August, tying for 48th out of 361 players. Now she’s raising funds for Stage II, with a hefty goal of $US6,200.

The Michigan native provided a breakdown of expenses at the bottom of the description, and it says a lot about just how difficult it is to break into the top ranks of professional golf. Costs include a $US3,000 entry fee, $US2,000 for a caddie, $US90 for practice rounds, $US60 for yardage books, nearly $US600 for hotel stays, and a GoFundMe transaction fee of $US460.

“Golf is so damn expensive and trying to do it without outside help is impossible,” Averyhardt wrote on her Facebook page. “I mean unless your family is rich and that’s just not the case.”

While Averyhardt has never survived an LPGA cut, she has enjoyed some past success as a professional. She made a big jump up the Symetra Tour money list in 2012, winning the developmental circuit’s Rising Star Award.

So far, Averyhardt has raised $US3,325, just over half of her goal. Stage II of Q-School is set to kick off on October 16 at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Florida.

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