LPGA Tour pro, Gaby Lopez took time out of her busy schedule to give us the ins and outs of the women’s circuit, as we look back at her rise to the top 100.
Gaby, where does your love for Golf come from?
My love for golf came when I was 5. My dad introduced me to the sport as a “fun game”, nothing serious at the time. My parents never forced me to play a sport, they just encouraged me to play at least 2 different sports. I always dreamed of being a Olympic gymnast, but my Olympic dream came true last year as a golfer.
I remember going to the driving range and watching my dad hit balls, it was a very exciting for me. Then, at my home course, we have an 18 hole par 3 course in addition to the full course, which was extremely long for me (shots between 60 and 150 yds). I grew up playing that little par 3 course which helped me fall in love with golf.
What’s been your proudest achievement of your career, so far?
Being called an Olympian. As I said, I practiced gymnastics growing up and competing at the Olympics was a dream. However, watching myself achieve that goal as a golfer is beyond words. I am so proud and grateful to God for allowing me to reach that goal.
To be ranked in the top 100 female golfers in the world is amazing, what do you put your success down to?
Its been such a journey. I am a true believer of teamwork. I have an amazing group of people around me that push me and help me get better every single day. I am aware that if I had not had God as my number one priority or my family, coach, trainer, or psychologist I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I have learned so many different things from all of them.
Which is your favourite course to play at? Why?
My favourite course is Sahalee Country Club. We played this course last year on tour for the KPMG Major event. This course just amazed me because every single shot captures and requires your whole attention. It is a complete challenge, from tee to green and I just love how hard it is
Which major would you most like to win on the LPGA Tour?
I would love to win them all, each one of them has it own history and importance which makes them so special.
Who is the best player that you have had the pleasure of competing with on the course? Why?
Juli Inkster. She is such a classy, talented, humble, competitive, and great person on and off the golf course. If you ask tour players about her personality, you would probably hear how nice and grounded she is. Being a Hall of Famer and still competing is just amazing. I admire her in every way.
Could you tell us how you came to know God for yourself?
My family is Catholic. Growing up I attended to a Catholic school for 13 years. We used to have Mass every week or ever other week. I just felt very connected to God since I was a little kid. In school they taught us so many values such as, the value of help, integrity, honesty, responsibility, inclusiveness and so many others that I find essential in kids. Then, when I was studying at the University of Arkansas, being close to God helped me so much to feel that I was not alone in a different country, that I was always accompanied by Him.
How much of your golfing ability do you believe is from God and how much of it is your hard work?
I believe it is the perfect mix, God gave me the talent to play and compete on all kinds of levels, but it’s in my hands and in my heart to make the decision of how far I want to take this talent. I believe God gave me this talent to win, but most importantly, to inspire little girls follow their dreams just like I was inspired by my fellow competitors.
Does the busy Golfing calendar make it tough to get connected with a Church? How do you keep in touch?
For sure it does. Tour life gets you a little bit away from everything just because it requires lots of time to do different things. However, I have a Christian books with me everywhere I go to read passages every day, it is not a Bible, but it is a daily reminder of God in my life.
Are there other women on the Tour that you can share with about your faith?
Yes, I know that Angela Stanford is a Christian and a huge believer of God. Carlota Ciganda and I are great friends and we talk about God each week and the power of gratefulness.
Do you have a favourite bible verse or passage?
yes -“I am with you and for you, your constant Companion and Provider…. My love for you is constant: I am the same yesterday, today and forever. When you feel far from Me, whisper My Name. This simple act, done in childlike faith, opens your heart to my presence. Speak to me in love tones, get prepared to receive my love.”