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Showcasing four great golf moms

Their children reflect on what makes their moms so special
Emilia Migliaccio and her mom at ANWA.jpeg

Emilia Migliaccio: August 11, 2019, and April 3, 2021. The day I won gold at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, and the day I finished runner-up at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. My mom caddied for me during both of these special moments in my golf career. She was by my side then and has always been by my side.

Let me take you back 13 years ago.

At nine years old I played my first ever golf tournament. Two girls, including myself, were in the field. I shot a 49 and finished second but swear I shot higher because it felt like I made three 10s during that round. Must have made some incredible pars too.

As a girl, it was not easy to grow as a golfer. My classmates constantly made fun me of for playing an “old man’s sport.” There were also no other kids to play golf with, so I mostly practiced by myself – not an ideal situation for an extroverted kid who desperately wanted to fit in. As a 5’9” muscularly built, frizzy-haired 12-year-old, I stood out (literally) wherever I went. I also wore soccer jerseys and basketball shorts with my frizzy hair always thrown into a ponytail. I realized quickly in middle school that my clothing would not be acceptable if I was going to fit in with the popular girls. So, I started to change. I tried to be interested in shopping and wear my hair down and dress “nicer.” That was until my mom stopped me right in my tracks.

“You have so many special qualities,” my mom told me. “Qualities nobody else has. Who cares if they don’t think golf is cool because you know what? They will think your life is pretty darn cool when you are traveling the world playing the one of the greatest games in sports.”

And so I went. So we went. We traveled the world for my golf tournaments and made so many lasting memories. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve any of my success if I didn’t have a hero like my mom. My mom inspired me to embrace my unique qualities and embrace the sport I love to play. It all comes full circle looking back on Mother’s Day to two of my favorite golf memories.

Emilia Migliaccio's mom in Lima wearing the gold medal.jpeg
Emilia's mom, Ulrika, wearing the gold medal at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

The last round of the Pan American Games was mentally tough. I wasn’t playing my best and I needed every ounce of support from my mom to keep my lead. On the last hole, I hit my pitching wedge to two feet with a two-shot lead. I made the putt and immediately hugged my mom. We did it. On the final round of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, I kept getting butterflies in my stomach looking at her in the iconic white jumpsuit. We are a part of history.

Not everything has been easy. Choosing any path at an elite level comes with daily challenges, but my mom has been with me through every one of those challenges. She is my rock, my hero, and my best friend.

Thank you mom, for inspiring me every day to be the best version of myself. I love you.

Stephen Campbell Jr: Mother’s Day is one of the best times of the year. We get to thank our moms for everything they do in our life. Our moms do so much for us and we don’t even realize it. They're our chef, nurse, teacher, and so much more.

I love my mom... she's been the closest to me in the ups and the downs and I cannot thank her enough for everything she has done. One of my favorite memories is when she caddied for me out in Pinehurst, and to have her on the bag when I won was so awesome. Mom, I love you and I am so thankful for everything you've done for me.

Faith Choi and her mom with Payne Stewart statue.JPG

Faith Choi: The bond my mom and I developed is unlike any other. Not only is she the most supportive and caring person I know, but she's also my best friend.

Usually most fathers introduce their daughters to golf and teach them over time, but in my case it has always been my mom. My mom took up golf when I was learning so she could understand all the different aspects of the game. As a young junior golfer, my mom has been the one to take me to all my lessons, sit and help me through my practice hours, and be my caddy. Having my mom take on the role of “golf parent” has brought us closer together. She has always been my go-to person after a good or bad round.

I would not be where I am today in life or golf if it weren’t for my mom. She has always been and continues to be my biggest role model. I am so thankful to have my mom. She continues to love and support me everyday. I am so lucky to not only have her as my mom, but as my best friend too.

Sean-Karl Dobson and his mom Joslyn.jpg

Sean-Karl Dobson: In our household, it is nearly tradition for Mother’s Day to be spent either on the course or at the court, with my mom watching and managing my sister or me as we compete. Of course, we always get her gifts and cards, but her focus invariably shifts from celebrating her and all she does for us to making sure we are fed, warmed up, and that she has done all she can to help us succeed.

That’s what my mom has dedicated her life to for the past seventeen years.

Growing up, she was a nationally-ranked tennis player, so naturally that is where I started. And, truth be told, if there was less running involved, I might still be there today. I played all the normal sports, but found myself drawn away from them toward tennis and golf.

At our home club, just past the front gates, you turn left into the tennis center or right into the driving range. One day I woke up and told her, “From now on, let’s just go right.” Whether or not it was a shock, she just said, “OK,” and that’s what we did. Up to that point, neither of my parents knew anything about golf, except that it was my late grandfather’s obsession and all I ever wanted to do was hit the driver on the range. My mom quickly realized that it was something I loved, and she dropped everything to learn all she could about golf.

Sean-Karl Dobson and his mom putting at night.jpg
Sean-Karl's mom, Joslyn, watches on as Sean-Karl practices putting under the lights.

You hear about and see amazing Father-Daughter bonds through golf all the time, but the Mother-Son bonds are uniquely special. In my first World Championship when I was ten, it was my mom on the bag. In my first tournament win, a small City of Austin event at Morris Williams, my mom woke up at 4:30 a.m. so I could have a special breakfast before the 7 a.m. tee time.

Even today, the memories of traveling all across the country, from San Diego to New Jersey and everywhere in between, are memories I cherish. We have won and lost plenty of times, fought struggles on and off the course, but her unwavering support and love is something I will never forget. She is the best teammate I could have ever dreamed of, and I am extremely lucky that she is my mom.

Thank you, Mom, so much, for everything you do and have done for me, from the first golf lesson, to learning how countless tours operate, to, when searching for a drive that is inevitably fifty yards offline, telling me, “It’s all okay; you're probably just hungry.” I could not have done any of it without you, and for the years spent by my side learning, struggling, and winning, I am eternally grateful. Thank you for the constant love you display. You are irreplaceable. Thank you, and I love you!

Sean-Karl Dobson fishing with his mom.jpg

One of the great things about junior golf is that it truly is one big family. As soon as you tee it up, suddenly the field has forty moms watching over them. Inevitably at every tournament, something happens to a player and a random mom swoops in to save the day. Of course, dads are an enormous part of our success, but I have yet to witness a father whip out electrolyte powder, muscle relaxing cream, and a banana when a competitor is cramping and dehydrated. As it is a day to celebrate all mothers, I’d also like to thank Alla Kournikova and Sara Cupples for accepting me as a second son. Their dedication toward Allan and Tom is inspirational, and both have acted as phenomenal extensions of our family.

To all the amazing moms not just in junior golf, we shouldn’t need a day to say thank you. Take a moment from being our biggest supporters, and hear the gratitude in our voices when we say: Happy Mother’s Day!

Sean-Karl Dobson with his sister and his mom.jpg