Pinehurst Resort has Never Neverland quality on long summer days. For the past five years it has been Addie Baggarly’s summer getaway. This time her week started barefoot with a bucket hat on and just a 50 degree wedge to get her around the Cradle, Pinehurst’s new par 3 course.
Baggarly, who has just completed her fourth season on the University of Florida roster, has teamed up with good friend and Tennessee native Siarra Stout in a barefoot one-club par-3 competition for the North & South Women’s To start on the week. Both players used their gap wedge – even for putting – around the cradle and went under 5.
“In the end we went out and won the playoffs,” said Baggarly. “It was great fun, it was so much fun to start the week. We finished in the dark and people’s flashlights were on on the cradle.
“It was definitely – probably the most memorable part of the week.”
Baggarly has been playing this event for five years, hitting the last 16. She sent Minnesota player Grace Curran in the opening round of match play on Thursday and faces Duke Junior Gina Kim in the next round. Baggarly called it an unfortunate draw so early in the week. She and Kim played together on a Palmer Cup team and spent a week at the Olympic Club in San Francisco last month after they both qualified for the US Women’s Open.
Kim was part of a playoff for last place in the North and South Rounds Tuesday night, and Baggarly offered her encouragement.
“I kind of drove by and gave her a little wave and she said seeing you in the cart makes my day,” she said.
Rating: North & South women amateur
Baggarly’s week at the Women’s Open brought home a realization she first had this spring at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. She had wondered if she wanted to become a professional and try to make a living from golf.
“My feelings there only corroborated the fact that I don’t think professional life is really for me,” she said. “I like to enjoy the sport because it should be played for fun.”
The story goes on
Emilia Migliaccio, runner-up at ANWA and former top 3 amateur in the world, recently started a career as a golf journalist as an intern at Golf Channel and has been a key part of this nontraditional journey. Baggarly also consulted with Tennessee colleague Sarah Ingram, a three-time U.S. women’s mid-am champion and current Curtis Cup captain, and spoke to Lauren Greenlief, a former Virginia player who never turned pro and who was in 2015 in Pinehurst Won US Mid-Am World Cup 2015. Amateur and continues to be extremely competitive in the amateur field at the age of 39.
That fits with Baggarly’s vision of what her future golf life could be like.
“(Greenlief) had a lot of great words to say on the competitive side and still had a career and the balance it needed,” said Baggarly. “She said it was possible because she did and I admire that.”
Baggarly has another semester of classes in Florida to graduate in telecommunications. The story of Gator runs deep in Baggarly’s veins. She was born in Gainesville, Florida and her family history is closely tied to the university. Her great-grandfather helped found the building construction school and her father, Mark Baggarly, was part of the men’s national golf team in 1993.
However, from January Baggarly will go to Baylor. With one year remaining, she will play the spring season for the bears as she embarks on an 18-month Masters course in physical education. That would push her into college coaching later.
“I am forever grateful for the opportunity that (Florida) has given me over the past four years,” she said. “At Baylor I came up with something really nice and I can do my master’s degree.”
Baggarly has a deeply rooted affection for amateur golf and no future coaching job would change that. This week is a sweet reminder of everything she loves about competition.
“This is my week of escape – I’m here to play golf, but I have so much fun other areas too,” said Baggarly. “The people here are great, everyone is so welcoming. It is definitely my favorite week of the year. “