It’s all about the drive
Senior golfer Beverly Vatananugulkit’s mental and physical drive turned many heads on and off of the golf course during her tenure at UC Davis.
Vatananugulkit started golfing at the age of seven. She said she knew that she wanted the sport to be a part of her life the second she made contact with the ball.
“I remember striking the ball for the first time and feel exhilarated,” Vatananugulkit said. “Since then, I have always been fascinated by the game. Golf brings together physical and mental skills that no other sport provides. It challenges everyone and I always enjoy a little competition.”
Ever since that day, Vatananugulkit found her niche in the sport. She went on to win her first tournament in her first year, cementing her dedication to the game.
“One of the most rewarding moments in golf was winning my first golf tournament I’ve ever played,” Vatananugulkit said. “It was just before my mother’s birthday and I wanted to give her something special. As I was playing in the tournament, I remember thinking about how happy my mother would be if I brought home the trophy. When I revealed the gift, in addition to some beautiful flowers, she shared the most wonderful smile that I knew, and I wanted to continue this sport if my success gives her so much happiness.”
Vatananugulkit continued her success at Cerritos High School where she achieved two Player of the Year titles, was named team MVP and tied for second place at the CIF Southern California Championships.
Family is a major reason why Vatananugulkit holds golf so close to her heart. Her father, who passed away, said he wanted Vatananugulkit to go to college with a golf scholarship.
“To honor his wishes, I continued my career in golf throughout my senior year of high school and got recruited and accepted to UC Davis,” she said.
Vatananugulkit has formed a very distinguished golf career at UC Davis. She won Big West Freshman of the Year title, made the All Big West First Team twice and has placed in the Top 20 in various golf tournaments.
“My dream is to coach a collegiate golf team, shaping and influencing the lives of young, future golfers,” Vatananugulkit said, discussing her post-graduation plans. “After I graduate, I’m going to be working at Stanford Golf Camps as a camp counselor.”
Additionally, she is also looking forward to hearing from a number of collegiate coaches about assistant coaching opportunities, noting the University of Oregon as a possibility.
“With the game of golf, one’s physical skills could be top notch, but if the mental game is lacking, it creates much difficulty on the course,” She said. “If I hit a bad shot or make an unwise decision, I cannot allow that to affect my next shot; I have to stay in the present. Each shot is a new shot, regardless of what happened before.”
Graphic by Camilla Dayrit.