TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — On May 24th, the 2022 season ended for the Florida State women’s golf team.
The Seminoles enjoyed the longest run in program history during the 2022 NCAA Championship tournament. The team won its second consecutive NCAA Regional championship, advanced to the match play portion of the event for the first time, and finished fifth in the final standings at the NCAA Championship Finals.
While the collegiate season was over, Amelia Williamson, Charlotte Heath and Alice Hodge’s dedication to the game of golf didn’t end when the national championships did. The three Seminoles spent their summer vacations improving their games and competing in prestigious competitions around the world.
After coming down with COVID-19 at the National Championships, Williamson was eager to get back on the course. After earning All-American and All-ACC honors for the first time in 2022, she began her summer in Philadelphia, where she played in the Curtis Cup for the first time. As an amateur, it is one of the most prestigious events to compete in.
“I was happy that I made that team just to be part of that experience,” said Williamson.
Following the Curtis Cup, Williamson returned home to Norfolk, England to compete in the Women’s British Amateur. There, she recorded her best ever finish in the British, advancing to the round of 16 in match play.
Williamson continued her summer journey in Geneva, Switzerland to play in the Arnold Palmer Cup.
Williamson spoke highly of the experience and the challenges of playing the Palmer Cup competition.
“We played a lot of mixed formats at that event,” said Williamson. “Once you get to a higher standard of golf, it is not very often you are given the opportunity to play mixed golf events.”
Williamson then played at the Conwy Golf Club in Wales for the 2022 European Ladies Team Championships, where she helped lead England to a win and individually finished in a tie for seventh in the stroke play portion of the event.
After taking a short — but much-needed break, Williamson traveled to California where she competed in Stage I of the LPGA Q-School. She placed 18th and advanced to Q-School Stage II in October in Naples, Florida.
Competing in international tournaments provides the opportunity to meet different people from all around the world. When Williamson reflected on her summer, she remembered the value of friendship she gained from these competitions.
“I really got to know everyone well from all over the world,” said Williamson. “It made me realize that friendships are really important, and were what made me want to play golf in the first place when I was a little girl,”
When she was younger, her focus remained on golf and education. This past year, Williamson also learned to enjoy her new-found relationships. She gained an incredible support network and applied it to her golf game.
As a Seminole this year, she wants to continue to keep these relationships alive outside golf, while working on decreasing her stroke average.
Alongside teammate Williamson, Heath also competed in the 2022 European Ladies Team and Curtis Cup championships.
While the two don’t typically play together outside of Florida State events, they were able to learn a lot from each other.
“Charlotte’s game and her approach is very different from mine,” said Williamson. “I can look at her and learn things from her and maybe add it to mine. We were able to help each other with clubbing options, which takes a lot of stress off you as a player. Having a second opinion on the course from a trusted teammate is reassuring when you’re in a reputable competition.”
Similar to Williamson, All-American Heath’s expedition began at the Curtis Cup. However, after the tournament, her summer competition almost came to a halt after a thumb injury.
Heath withdrew from the Women’s British Amateur. She almost withdrew from the European Ladies Team Championships, as well.
Due to her thumb injury, Heath had to think of a different approach to play her best game.
“I definitely focused on more quality practice because physically I couldn’t hit many balls,” said Heath. “Each shot took extra precision.”
She persisted and helped England win the title at the Ladies team Championships. She played well as she finished as runner-up at the European ladies Amateur Championship, where she fell to Belgium’s Savannah de Bock in a playoff.
Heath, a junior, learned to take extra care in looking after herself and not overworking her body before tournaments. As she plays for Florida State this year, she wants to incorporate the lessons she learned over summer to continue to push herself to achieve greater results and a redemption for the team at nationals.
One of the top upperclassmen in the nation, Hodge, played on one of the biggest stages in women’s amateur golf with her first career appearance in the U.S. Women’s Amateur competition in Washington.
“They do a really good job putting on the event,” said Hodge. “They make it really special [with] a big dinner before and a lot of fun events.”
At the tournament, she played two rounds of stroke play and carded a score of 2 under par 69 in her second round.
Hodge’s greatest memory of the summer came as her dad was able to caddy for her in the U.S. Women’s Am. Hodge appreciated the whole tournament experience on and off the course and will incorporate what she gained this summer into the new season.
This season Hodge is most looking forward to improving her game, working hard, and gaining results. She wants to focus on maintaining a good mindset and enjoying every moment on and off the course.
Head coach Amy Bond believes the most important action she can take for the women is showing her faith in each one of them.
“When people believe in you and care about you, you can do anything,” Bond says.
Bond believes in the importance of trusting the women so they trust her in return. She maintains a structured and competitive practice for the Seminoles to perform their best.
Fans can look forward to seeing the Florida State women’s golf team apply what they learned during their summer vacations as the Seminoles continue the four-match fall season Sept. 24-26 at the Schooner Fall Classic played at the University of Oklahoma.