Allison Emrey has played golf since she was 5, when she regularly played against her father, David, and older sister, Jennifer, for family bragging rights, the right to drive the cart and post-round ice cream.
Emrey, now 22, has had a lot of big moments since: in junior golf and as a standout for the Ardrey Kell High and Wake Forest golf teams.
The 2015 Wake Forest graduate says, however, that the last month of her college career was one of the most rewarding.
Emrey was named to the All-ACC team and a Women’s Golf Coaches’ Association All-American. She also graduated from Wake Forest with a degree in computer science.
In Emrey’s senior season, she took third place in the ACC championships, fourth at the Notre Dame Regional and helped the team to a 13th-place finish at the NCAA championships.
“The last month of my college career was amazing, but it was the result of years of practice,” said Emrey, whose home course is Providence Country Club, where her family lives. “The last two years at Wake, I’ve put everything I had into golf. But my whole career has been a process, and nothing has happened overnight. I try to keep my focus on what I can do to get better on the course day by day. That way I never get ahead of myself.”
Emrey is not content to rest on her accomplishments thus far; just days after she finished her Wake Forest golf career, she made the trip to a U.S. Open Qualifier at Galloway National Golf Club in New Jersey.
Emrey’s plan is to retain amateur status for a few more weeks, but her journey to becoming a professional golfer will start no later than LPGA Qualifying School, known as ‘Q’ School, on Aug. 3 at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
From there, she hopes to make it to stage two of qualifying at Plantation Golf and Country Club on Oct. 19-25 in Venice, Fla.
The final stage of ‘Q’ school is Nov. 30-Dec. 6 at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla., where Emrey potentially could earn her tour card.
“I feel like the LPGA is as good as ever, so it’s going to be really tough to make it, but right now my focus is just on what I can do to get better,” Emrey said. “I’ve been going out and watching a lot of golf. I definitely don’t feel intimidated because I know a lot of the girls on tour that I played with in college or juniors. Right now I’m more excited than anything else. I’m ready to start the process.”
Ardrey Kell golf coach Bart Whitney, in his seventh year as the Knights’ coach, said Emrey has the potential to finish the process, as well.
“Nothing that Allison has accomplished in her career at Ardrey Kell or at Wake Forest has surprised me, and nothing that she will accomplish in the future will surprise me,” said Whitney.
He said he first noticed Emrey’s drive when she won the 4A state individual title as a sophomore.
“One of the toughest things for any golfer to do is to have short memory,” Whitney said. “Allison has always been great at never getting too high or too low, just focusing on the next shot.
“She has not only remained focused, but never gotten complacent. A lot of kids tell you what they want to do, but very few embrace the challenge of all the work they have to do get there. Allison has always had that rare gift.”
Emrey believes she has what it takes to play on the LPGA tour. She consistently drives the ball 245 to 250 yards, listing her strengths as hitting greens in regulation, staying in the fairway and “never giving up on a round.” She says her short game is something she would like to improve.
Emrey’s swing coach, Leslie Elmore, who has worked with Emrey for the past 16 years, says the LPGA will be another goal accomplished.
“Allison has the whole package of what it takes to be a great golfer,” Elmore said. “What separates her from a lot of golfers is her mental ability.
“Allison has always been a goal setter. Once again, she has a goal in front of her and she will lay out a plan and will do everything it takes to achieve it.”
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Jay? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.