Living the Dream

by Marianne Gasaway

Emily Snelling is living the dream.

Her dream.

The Clear Lake High School all-state athlete who went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Movement and Exercise Science with a minor in Sport Administration and Coaching while playing golf for the University of Northern Iowa Panthers has made the decision to become a professional golfer.

“The game of golf has given me so many great opportunities and experiences. It has also blessed me with so many people who have helped and encouraged me throughout my journey,” said Emily.  “With that, I am excited to announce that I will be turning pro!”

Becoming a professional golfer was something Emily says she always dreamed of as a young golfer.

“I started golfing when I could walk.  My dad would always take me with him, then I started playing competitively when I was eight in the North Iowa Junior Golf Association.”

By the time she was in high school she had asserted herself in the sport.  She made history by becoming one of only eight Iowa High School girls to win three State golf titles.  Snelling’s amazing feat was even more impressive because she sat out almost all of the regular season her senior year recovering from January surgery to repair a torn ACL.

At UNI, she helped the Panthers finish second at the Missouri Valley Conference Meet as a freshman and finished tied for first at the MVC Preview in 2019.  Unfortunately the 2020 spring season was canceled due to COVID. During her senior season at UNI Emily played 17 rounds with a 78.4 stroke average.  She finished tied for second at the MVC Championship with a three round 231 (72, 78, 81).

Despite all  of her success, Emily said she began to question her goal of a future in professional golf during her senior year at UNI.  

“I had been pondering it for most of my senior season and around mid-July is when I officially made the decision to go pro.  I had lots of encouragement from my friends and family which made my decision much easier.  It’s not the hard work I was afraid of, it was more the cost of it,” she explained.  “I’m excited for this journey, but unfortunately it takes money to give this dream a run.”

To pursue her dream, Emily plans to move to Dallas, Texas in the coming year and play on the Women’s All Pro Tour (WAPT).  The tour will allow her to compete not only for money, but also gain exemption to the Symmetry tour events which would ultimately lead to the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour.

She has already put out a call and written a contract for investors and sponsors, as well as donations to support her quest.  

“Any amount for this journey would be helpful and appreciated,” she said, adding that almost a dozen have stepped forward already to support her goal.  She thanked Richard Oehlert, Dan Monson, Steve Siemens, Shelly and Doug Michel, Emily and Lance Hill, Steve Johnson, Dick Price, TJ Hauser, Kim Pleggenkuhle, Jessica and Adam Otto, and Tim Mattson for their early support.

Money from sponsors will go toward travel costs, entry fee, equipment and living expenses, if needed.

“My contract with my sponsors is two years.  I’m hoping to have made good progress by then, but I would say (it will take)  two to three years to either be on the LPGA or just below it.   Any amount for this journey would be helpful and appreciated.”

In preparation for the WAPT Emily has already enlisted the help of one of the best putting instructors in the game, Craig Farnsworth.  She spent time in Palm Springs, Calif., soaking up his instruction and considered it a great beginning to her professional career.  More recently, she met with her swing coach, Robert McMillan, and had productive sessions to improve her swing.

She updates her training progress regularly on social media and appreciates the support of her followers, whether financially or in spirit.

Those who would like to donate can Venmo at Emily-Snelling-4 or send a check to 424 19th St. West, Clear Lake, Iowa 50428.

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