The Symetra Tour’s Nanette Hill is sharing her love of the game and the challenges of life on the pro tour in this ForeGals interview.
I met Nannette Hill at at the Symetra Tour’s 2017 Self Regional Foundation Women’s Health Classic in Greenwood, SC. We were paired in the Pro-Am and clicked immediately.
Nannette has agreed to share her 2018 Symetra Tour season with us and we’re delighted that she’s agreed to share her life @ROAD2LPGA with us. ForeGals readers will get an inside view of the ups and down, the highs and lows of life on the pro tour.
We agree with Nannette. As she wrote to me in her most recent email, “there’s exciting stuff happening at ForeGals.com” and Nanette’s going to help us put life on the Symetra Tour into the mix!
Without further ado let’s get to know Nanette Hill!
On the way to the pro tour . . .
Nannette was a standout junior golf and collegiate competitor. The three-time New York State Junior champion (2000-02) and All-Atlantic Coast Conference player at Wake Forest University put a victory and 13 overall top-10 finishes on her amateur résumé before she turned pro in 2009.
LPGA Q-School was Nannette’s first stop after she left Wake Forest. She finished 25th at the 2009 Final Qualifying Tournament and played her rookie year in 2010. She claimed her first pro victory at the Symetra Tour’s City of Hammond Classic that year.
Over the past 7 years Nanette has played on both the Symetra and LPGA Tours. In 2017 she started at 18 events, made 13 cuts, and placed 34th on the Symetra Tour money list. She’s also delivered some TV-worthy golf shots along the way, like this hole-out from the fairway at the 2016 Marathon Classic!
Nannette will be starting her 2018 season at Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in Winter Haven on March 16. If you’re in the area, get out to the Country Club of Winter Haven and enjoy watching her play some fine golf!
CE: When did you fall in love with golf? Can you recall the moment?
NH: I fell in love with golf as a kid. The exact moment I remember I must have been 9 or 10. My dad and I were playing a putting match with two of his good friends, 9 holes 10 bucks to the winner. The match was all square coming down to the last hole. It was a 30ft. right to left downhill bender. Everyone missed and I was last up. I was so excited to have the opportunity to potentially win the match. I stroked it and hit center cup, and went in!! Everyone cheered. It was a great moment I always remember and since then I’ve wanted those moments again on a bigger stage.
CE: Who were your immediate role models, and why?
NH: Annika Sorenstam hands down. She was so dominate. My dad used to take me to the JAL Big Apple Classic every year at Wykagyl Country Club. I remember being there early one of the mornings and watching the girls warm up on the putting green. I saw Annika putting and no one else was around. This was a great opportunity to get her autograph. I waited until she was done and asked her to sign my hat.
She didn’t just sign my hat she asked me to walk down with her to the first tee and she talked to me the whole time, asking me if I played, happy I came out, and to keep working hard. I was so impressed by that and that moment impacted me greatly.
Giving a little more to people, giving a little extra to people goes a long way.
CE: What is it you like best about the game today?
NH: Improving, getting better, its a an awesome feeling to be able to see changes you’ve made in your swing and game. Goals set and then achieved. Even setting out to accomplish a few big tasks at practice for the day and getting them done and getting them done well excites me. Even days that don’t go so well I like the challenge of figuring out why and trying to find solutions to make it better the next day.
CE: What’s the toughest part about playing on the Symetra Tour?
NH: Played on both tours, LPGA and Symetra Tour. LPGA you are flying most places but Symetra you are driving. Symetra you have longer work weeks because competition starts Friday and there 3 rounds compared to the LPGA competition starts Thursday and there are 4 rounds. LPGA you’re traveling globally, and Symetra your traveling domestically.
To combine my experiences I would say the toughest is managing your time while moving from city to city. Once you get situated in one place you’re leaving. You have to be very adaptable and flexible but get the main things done. I don’t think humans are adaptable and flexible by nature. i think its a skill you need to get better at through experience.
At times it seems like there is not enough time in the day. You need to work on different parts of your game while also getting to know the golf course that week. It’s a challenge but its a big advantage going back to familiar places year after year because you know the course, you know the restaurants, you know where to stay, and its easy to know the right things to do.
CE: How do you meet your expenses (travel, lodging, entry fees)?
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NH: You have to play and use the money you earn along with having a couple of good sponsors. Playing in pro-ams helps expenses as well. It’s tough because all costs are on you all week. You have to learn to budget and manage your money wisely. It’s a huge motivator for me because at the end of the week each shot really does mean something.
You have to keep pushing and working hard to stay ahead. I really do take it as a badge of honor that every dollar we make we have to fight for but sometimes it frustrates me too. Most professional athletes sign big contracts at the beginning of the year but in our sport you have to go out each week and earn a pay check!
You can follow Nanette on Twitter @NannetteHGolf and you can submit questions for her to answer in her next interview either to Nanette directly or to me @christineeagle2.
The daily life of a pro golfer isn’t quite as glamorous as one might imagine and yet Nanette Hill offers a charming insight into why this is the life for her.