During NCAA Division III Week (April 7-13), UW-Eau Claire Athletics is posting spotlights from select Blugolds each day throughout the week. Today's post features Kate Engler, who competes in women's golf.
Name: Kate Engler
Hometown/High School: Beloit, Wis./Turner
Sport: Women's Golf
Major: Business Management
Why did you choose to be a Division III student-athlete?
One of the main reasons was that I was looking to go to school within the state of Wisconsin and I just really didn't see myself going to a Division I school or even a private university. I felt like a DIII school would be a good fit for me and I would be able to be close to my family as well.
What do you like most about competing in the WIAC?
I like that there is some good competition between the schools and the players in the conference. I also like that it's all very familiar, meaning that we are very familiar with the players and we can all relate to each other fairly well. We all seem to come from similar situations and are all pretty down-to-earth when it comes to golf and school.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned from being a student-athlete?
I've learned how important it is to manage your time between being a student and an athlete. Both are very important, so making time for both is a difficult thing to do when you start your first year.
Who has been the most influential person in your athletic career?
I would probably say either my dad or my instructor and boss, Milt Kodl. My dad has always been very supportive of my golf career. He was actually the person who got me started with golf when I was very little. He taught me the basics in the backyard when I was growing up, but I didn't pick it back up until high school. That's when I met my golf instructor who gave me a job at our city's country club. He really knows a lot about golf and how the golf world works and it's really helped my career to be surrounded by so many people who are so involved in golf. He's also given me lots of lessons on the range and also playing lessons that have really helped me with not only the playing side of my game, but also the mental side of my game, which I think is almost as important as the physical side, especially when competing.
If you could meet any athlete, who would it be and what one question would you ask them?
If I could meet any athlete it would definitely be my favorite golfer, Phil Mickelson. I would probably ask him for advice on a career in golf and some of the best ways to improve your game. Or to just ask questions about his life on tour and how it is to play golf for a living.
What is your greatest sports moment?
My greatest sports moment so far would probably be going to Nationals with the team in my freshman year and also winning the WIAC Championship last October. Both of these events were really meaningful stepping-stones in my career. In high school I never made it to the state tournament, so being able to go to Nationals as a freshman was a really big deal for me. Our team actually got third place and our junior (at the time) won the individual title, so that was a really great experience for me in my first year of collegiate golf. Also, winning the WIAC Championship was something I never considered for myself, but I'm extremely glad that my game has improved as much as it as in order to have won such an important tournament. Also, to be named Player of the Year was an amazing reward I never thought I'd accomplish.
What is/are your favorite TV shows?
I don't really watch much TV, but when I do I really like to watch Duck Dynasty, Pretty Little Liars, The Ellen Show, and the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. And of course, the golf channel.
What is/are your favorite foods?
If you could live any place in the world, where would it be?
I would really like to live out in the country or in the woods someplace, maybe in like Colorado or somewhere close to the mountains. I also would like to experience living in England, I think that would be an interesting place to live or just visit in general.
What does your "bucket list" include?
I have a wide variety of things I'd like to do and accomplish in my life. A couple would be to meet some of my favorite athletes, musicians, and celebrities (like Phil Mickelson, Paul McCartney, Alan Rickman, and many others). Also to play many famous golf courses such as Augusta National, Pebble Beach and many others. To design and build my "dream home" is another big item on my bucket list.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
How would your teammates describe you?
They would probably say that I'm really quiet, but I'm pretty funny and laid-back once I start talking.
Do you have any pre-game/pre-event rituals? If so, what are they?
Yes. When I'm on the putting green practicing before starting my round, for the last couple minutes I try to make some longer putts. If one of my putts goes in, I stop trying to make the rest of my putts and go pick the ball up from the hole. The ball that I made the putt with is usually the one that I use for the rest of my round (unless I forget).
What is your dream job?
Playing on the LPGA tour would be amazing, but I'm far from that life. Being an architect would be a really fun job, in my opinion…and more realistic.