Annie Mascot’s foray into golf wasn’t exactly love at first sight. As she put it, “I remember being 10 years old, outside in the cold and rain, just thinking, ‘When will this be over?'” However, her parents urged her to continue, and when she joined her middle school’s golf team, the Augora Hills, California, resident met USGTF professional Jim Govostes.

“When I started on my middle school’s team in 7th grade, I was not good by any means,” said Annie. “I had an untrained swing and the temperament of, well, a 7th-grader. I would get frustrated that I wasn’t good and that I wasn’t the best, that I would mess up from time to time. Of course, we all get frustrated about those things, but the reason why my frustration didn’t get the best of me in those early years has a lot to do with Jim. He would remind me that change takes time, that practice makes improvement, and that if I just kept going, eventually I would get there.”

Said Govostes, “Annie started her golf career with a pretty ugly golf swing. But there was the base of a very, very powerful golf movement in her swing. She wanted to improve, and she had a mother and father that both supported her. We started weekly lessons, and we worked on backswing, turning, staying solid from hips down and delivery.” Being strong-headed, Annie didn’t always take to Govostes’ teaching, but in the end, it paid off. She said, “Switching my mindset from being insecure about where it started to having pride in how far I came is what made me start to fall in love with the game.”

She turned that love of the game into great success, winning the individual NCAA Division III national championship in 2023, setting a single-round scoring record of -5 along the way while representing Washington University of St. Louis. She is now a mechanical engineering Ph.D candidate at Stanford University, a great testament to her academic acumen, which, in the end, is the most important accomplishment of all.
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