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Yvonne Cox-Holmes' Journey Back to the LPGA

Updated: Jun 4

Often, we hear the winner of a competition say something to the affect of, “I dreamt of it as a kid so if you work hard, it can happen!”And it’s true… but only for a small number of people.  What happens to the people that don’t win, that don’t achieve their dreams? What happens when your ambition is to become a professional athlete and all the work you put in doesn’t pay off and the dream doesn’t happen? That’s what happened to Yvonne Cox-Holmes but what makes her story unique is that she is embarking on a second chance at her dream. 

Yvonne's entry into golf started inauspicioulsy. Her Grandmother introduced her to the game when she was 15 but it didn't resonate with her. The boys on her street, however, played and they weren't going to beat her at anything. She soon became good enough to earn a spot on the boys high school team. As a talented, multi-sport athlete she received college scholarship offers in three different sports: golf, softball and basketball.  Because her goal was to become a professional athlete, she chose golf. Within those sports, golf was the only one that offered a pathway to earning a living. The LPGA also had a successful history and is considered the longest standing women’s professional sports league in the world. 

After college, Yvonne played for five years and competed in the Futures Tour Qualifier (a development tour of the LPGA) and the U.S. Open in 2004 but never made the LPGA cut.  In 2005 she retired. 

Her clubs stayed idle for 14 years, only to play several times with coworkers.  Most sports aren’t as forgiving as golf. Injuries, burn-out and age can sideline one's ability to compete at the highest level. The major turning point came from the support of her current relationship. "Jackie encouraged me to get serious about returning to competition," she said. And then COVID happened and everything stopped again. 

By the time she was finally able to enter tournament play she was a stranger in a familiar land. At the Texas Open, her competitors were wondering who this phenom was.  It seemed as if this skilled golfer came out of nowhere. She played with Michelle Redman in the tournament and was coached by Dana Rader.  Suspiciously, they checked out her story and found it to be valid. 

As with all athletes, she wants to win a tournament but she has gained a different perspective on the sport than her first within the LPGA.  “Don’t take it so seriously,” is her advice to younger players. “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong." 

Photos by Jackie Cox-Holmes





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