When Rachel Heck started golfing at three years old, it was simply a fun activity she could do with her sisters and dad after he got home from work. They had a schedule down: hit the driving range for a bit followed by some ice cream. At first, she and her sisters did it for the sweet treat, but then they discovered junior golf tournaments. After realizing you could compete for a trophy, Rachel was hooked.

Now a junior at St. Agnes Academy, golf has become more of a lifestyle for Rachel. “I get to travel to some amazing places and have made great friends from all over the world,” she says. “Golf was just something I always loved working on.”

Doing what she loves has brought Rachel the incredible achievement of getting to play golf at Stanford University in the fall of 2020. Leading up to this, she won three individual state championships for St. Agnes and several national events such as the Kathy Whitworth Invitational, the Rolex Girls Junior Championship, and the Polo Golf Junior Classic. She also represented the United States at the international level in the Junior Solheim Cup and the Junior Ryder Cup. She even competed and made the cut in two professional majors.

Throughout her career, Rachel has looked to retired pro golfer Annika Sorenstam as a role model. “She not only had an outstanding career, but she is grounded and works hard to inspire young girls.” Like Sorenstam, Rachel hopes to one day compete at the professional level as apart of the LPGA.

To get there, she must continue to stay on track by making healthy choices. Rachel supplements her time on the course with time in the gym. Core strengthening and lumbar stabilization are important to help protect her back.

She’s been fortunate to avoid most setbacks and injuries. When Rachel does get injured, she uses that time to focus on faith, family, friends, and education to remind herself that there are other things besides her sport that are important in life. It’s balancing all these factors that have helped her become the well-rounded and successful competitor she is today.

Reflecting on her journey, she wants to remind all young golfers out there to enjoy the process. “It is important to have goals and to always be looking toward the next step, but it is more important to have fun while doing so.” Whether that means making up contests or creating games to work on skills, she emphasizes finding ways to make golf enjoyable. 

Kind, determined, and talented—keep an eye out for this prodigious young golfer on your television screen.

Chloe Webster