For those of you who don't know my momma, Kathy, you are truly missing out. She is easily the most incredible woman that I know in all aspects of her life. This article comes after a weekend spent at home with her going through old boxes which provided us with the opportunity to look through her old yearbooks, pictures of our family, and laugh over some of our fondest memories. While going through these boxes, I was reminded of how many amazing things my mother has accomplished. I want to show her how much I appreciate her while telling all of you about the many things to has accomplished in each aspect of her life.
When my mom was in middle school, she was very athletic but unfortunately her school did not have women's sports established yet besides cheerleading and dance. She wanted to play basketball. So, she tried out for the boys team and made it, while also becoming a starter. (Fun fact- she played against my dad in middle school basketball and always brags that she beat his team). Going in to high school she lettered 12 times in varsity athletics and went on to receive a Division 1 scholarship from the University of Nebraska Kearney. Her softball career led her to be inducted into the university's Hall of Fame in 2000. She holds nearly every hitting record and also holds a record for her batting average.
When my mom graduated from college, she went on to work as a director of security at a dinner theatre. Shortly after, the dinner theater was sold to make room for the Mall of America. She was left without a job which led her to the first step of her main career. She began working at a golf course in the pro shop (where she later met my dad). One day her boss took her out for a round of golf, and he noticed that she was a natural and mentioned that she should start to practice and play more often. She took his advice and within one year she passed her players ability test and turned pro in both the PGA of America and the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). After a few years of practice, she found herself teaching out in Palm Springs and playing on the Mini Tour. She later realized that her passions were with helping women and children learn the game that she loved, so upon her move back to Minnesota, she began teaching at a private club and started her own business, Kathy Swanson Golf, which provided clinics, tournaments, and fun events made for women and girls who wanted to learn the game of golf. She was then selected as the first woman in the history of the PGA to be named Golf Professional of the Year in 2006. This led her to becoming the first female president of the Minnesota PGA in 2007-2008, which paved a way for women in the golf industry. After she served her term, she was selected to become the first Director of Member Services and Player Development for the Minnesota PGA which allowed her to bring golf clinics into the schools, run the Drive, Chip and Putts as seen at the Masters, and ultimately continue to share her love for the game. She is now a 25 year member in both the PGA and LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Division.
Fortunately, for my brother and I, my mom's busy season was in the summer which meant during the school year she was home with us. This is such a fond memory of mine as I remember being so excited to come home to see her everyday after school and usually have a fresh piece of banana bread that she would make for my brother and I. It meant that she was able to cook us pancakes every morning and come to all of our sporting events growing up. It wasn't until after I left for college that I was truly able to realize everything she has done for me. She is the most caring, kind, compassionate mother who gives everything she has to everyone else. Her smile brightens a room and she makes people feel seen and heard. Her hugs could fix any bad mood, and her love for the simple things in life is inspiring. She has taught me to be strong, to stand up for myself, and to love family more than anything in the world. She is my biggest inspiration and I can't even begin to explain how much she means to me.