Golf Illustrated Article - "Golf's Gabrielle Reece?"

They're strong, intelligent, and in many cases more than a match for their male athlete counterparts--but don't call them butch. Led by the likes of Gabrielle Reece (pro volleyball player/cover model), Dara Torres-Gowen (four-time Olympic medalist swimmer/TV host), Manon Rheaume (first female pro hockey player) and a score of others, young women of the nineties are cheerfully tossing aside outdated stereotypes of female athletes who must sacrifice beauty and femininity to excel in male-dominated sports. And it's not a trend restricted to American culture--look at golf's Annika Sorenstam.

Spreading the message that women of all ages can enjoy and excel in golf (and other sports) is Pennsylvania LPGA teaching pro Lisa Ann Horst. "Too many women don't get out and enjoy the same sports that men enjoy," she says. "You can still be a wife and a mother--you can still be feminine."

Currently a 2-handicapper, Horst picked up her first club at the age of seven and began competing in amateur tournaments at nine. Her father introduced her to the game, and nurtured her competitive drive. "My father loved golf. My three brothers and I all played, and from the time I was 12 my parents would sacrifice their summer vacations to take us across the country to compete in the larger amateur tournaments."

Horst won a number of events, including the USGA Pennsylvania Women's Amateur, and was named to the PING Junior All-American Team. Attending a modest-sized high school, she found herself the only girl on the golf team. Not intimidated, the 100-pound, 5'3" athlete posted an undefeated record and captained the team her senior year. She earned a golf scholarship to college and competed in the NCAA Championships for Penn State.

Naturally, Horst considered the LPGA Tour. "But by then I was feeling a bit burnt-out," she recalls. "I really didn't have the edge needed to win on that level. I wanted to compete in golf the rest of my life, but I didn't want it to *become* my entire life."

She became certified as an LPGA instructor, and has since augmented her love of golf with running, weight-training, skiing...and rock climbing. Together with her husband Eric, a world-class climber, Horst scales famous crags across America and Europe each year. After photographs of her accomplishments appeared in several magazines, she began considering another career-on-the-side, sports modeling. Also on the horizon may be an instructional video and calendar. In the meantime, Horst is content to teach, compete and encourage more women to participate in golf by way of example. She vows to continually push herself, on the fairway or vertical mountain wall, without losing perspective.

"The personal challenge is as important as competition," she says "It's the same with golf. We all strive for the perfect swing, but the game should be about enjoyment." --Simon McCaffery

Photo: Dine family golf outing in the late-70s. (Robert, Lisa, John, Bob, Bill and Jill)


Copyright © Lisa Ann Hörst. All Rights Reserved.