Making an impact and having her accomplishments recognized has never been an issue for Taylor Roberts in the sport of golf.
The Parkland, Fla., native and 2017 Florida State Golf Association Girls’ Junior Player of the Year has recently stepped foot onto Florida State University’s campus after committing to the Seminoles in June of 2017.
Before coming to Florida State, Taylor Roberts worked her way up the junior golf ranks earning six Florida Junior Tour victories and a semifinals appearance in the 2017 USGA Championships for Junior US Girls’.
Roberts’ outstanding community service accomplishments are only part of her efforts that have been recognized through the game of golf.
With the help of the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) and other peers, such as Duke’s Phoebe Brinker, Roberts organized the Inaugural Senior Cup. The Senior Cup was held for high school golfers whose senior seasons were cut short due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The event benefited the Emergency Golf Relief Fund and the American Junior Golf Association’s Achieving Competitive Excellence Grant. It was played as a Ryder-Cup style tournament and was hosted at the Parkland Golf & Country Club in July of 2020.
“I was super upset that our senior season was cut short … so I wanted to create something to help the golfers who lost their final high school seasons,” said Roberts. “I was on FaceTime with a couple of my friends, brought up the idea and I ended up telling Phoebe about it. Everything just started rolling. We talked to the AJGA and worked through both of our networks of people and it continued to build.”
The inaugural Senior Cup was a great success. It raised $40,000 for the Emergency Golf Relief Fund and the American Junior Golf Association’s Achieving Competitive Excellence Grant.
“It was crazy to see everything turn out to be what it was because we put so much time and effort into it and then it was so sad that it was over.” Roberts said.
“All of us at the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) are so proud of Taylor and honored that she and her family allowed us to join them on her journey the past five years,” said AJGA Senior Vice President for Development Kevin Rinker. “She has an outstanding junior golf record, but perhaps it’s her off the course accomplishments that we’re most proud of. She led a group of seniors to raise money for charity. The Senior Cup significantly changes the future of so many other young men and women. Taylor and her friends raised more than $40,000 during some very difficult times amidst Covid-19. Every single dollar will go straight to charity. Taylor’s family and friends should be awfully proud of her. I know I am.”
The successful Senior Cup had Team Roberts defeating Team Brinker 16-13 in an event where charity was the winner.
“We had so many supporters and just doing it with Taylor was a great experience,” said Brinker. “I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anyone else.
Brinker, a freshman at Duke, was selected to the 2019 AJGA First Team Rolex Junior All-America team and is a three-time Delaware State High School Golfer of the Year.
“We have just known each other over the years, and we have become such good friends throughout this whole process.”
Because of the pandemic, Roberts and Brinker planned the entire event virtually.
“We worked the whole event together on Zoom calls,” said Roberts. “It was nice having someone there to support each other the entire way because it was a lot of work to put everything together.”
For Florida State Head Coach Amy Bond, the 2017 ACC Coach of the Year, recruiting selfless individuals is a hallmark of her program.
“It’s important that our players appreciate the opportunity they have and that they are willing to give back to the community,” said Bond. “It is very important to be selfless and to not be stuck in your own bubble. You get to look around and see that you have a great opportunity to share what you have to give with others.”
Throughout her career, community service and giving back to those affected by tragedy has been very important to Bond.
Bond’s ‘Birdies for Bucks’ donated $10 for every birdie putt made by Florida State’s golfers to relief efforts during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in 2017.
“I look for Taylor to be a leader both on and off the golf course,” said Bond. “She’s so friendly; she never meets a stranger.”
Roberts and Bond grew close during the recruiting process.
“I instantly clicked with Coach Bond,” said Roberts, “She is like a second mother to me. We talked at least a couple of times a week even before I was got to campus in August. Our talks are not just about golf — we talk about life. I felt like she and the rest of the coaching staff have a vested interest in me and that was something I was looking for when choosing a college home.”
Among the Senior Cup participants (and a member of Team Roberts) was her own cousin Brett Roberts. The Roberts cousins began their careers as Seminoles this fall – Taylor as a member of the nationally ranked women’s team and Brett as a member of the nationally ranked men’s team.
“The Senior Cup was a lot of fun to play in,” said Brett. “Taylor did a really good job setting it up and making it into a great event. When you can play golf and raise money for a charity, it’s a good thing.”
Brett Roberts was the No. 2 ranked golfer in the 2020 recruiting class by Junior Golf Scoreboard and was a First-Team Rolex All-American along with winning a Florida High School State Championship in 2018.
“We didn’t really plan on going to college together, but we knew there was a chance,” said Brett. “I don’t think we really made it a big part of our decision. We wanted to do what was best for both of us and having us both at Florida State is a good thing.”
For Taylor Roberts, giving of herself to others has always been important to her and her family. Her new Florida State family will be among the recipients during her career as a Seminole.