Paula Creamer is a veteran of the golf course and has picked up a wealth of insight during her career.
The professional golfer sat down for an interview with Pro Tips and shared her advice. Creamer discussed how she learned to handle success during the early stages of her career. She also reflected on the challenges of battling back from an injury.
HOW DID YOU HANDLE SUCCESS AT A YOUNG AGE?
Creamer has first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to obtain success at an early age. She turned pro at the age of 18 and soon won a pair of tournaments in her first year on the tour. Creamer has since been a professional golfer for 15 years.
According to Creamer, one of the main things a young golfer can benefit from is being surrounded by a solid support system.
“You definitely need a good team around you,” she says. “You know, my family’s very involved in my golf. But also, I’ve had the same team since I turned 18. And this is my 15th year out on tour. So, consistency’s huge.”
Creamer also suggests that young golfers live in the moment. Instead of rushing to the next event on the calendar, it can be helpful to celebrate a good round or a tournament win.
“I think for young kids it’s important to be able to just reflect on what you have accomplished,” Creamer says. “Because it does make it much easier as your career goes on when you do win. You know, it is that exciting. It is a good thing.”
Creamer knows you shouldn’t overlook the importance of success from experience. During the early days of her career, she says, there were a handful of times she wishes she would’ve taken time to reflect.
“And looking back on it now in my career, I wish I would’ve taken five or 10 minutes after a win, or whether it was I came back and finished Top 5 when I was in 50th place going into Sunday, and really just sitting there and saying, ‘You know, Paula, that was great,’” Creamer says.
WHAT’S YOUR APPROACH TO REBOUNDING FROM AN INJURY?
Things don’t always go as planned on the golf course. Suffering an injury can be a trying time for any golfer, and Creamer has experienced this firsthand.
After suffering an injury to her thumb in 2010, Creamer faced the challenge of returning to playing form. Her first time back on the course did not go as planned.
“I thought I was going to come right back out and be on top of the world,” Creamer says. “And when I hit my first ball on the driving range and I was chipping, I was thinking, ‘Am I ever going to play golf again?’”
While the physical side of returning from an injury is tough, the mental aspect can be equally as difficult. Sometimes golfers may set too high of expectations when they get back on the course. Creamer says it can be beneficial to have realistic goals for yourself.
By staying dedicated and putting in the necessary work, Creamer won her fourth tournament when she returned to 100 percent.
“Having that mindset of just being out there and being happy that you’re playing pain-free is, I think, the easiest way to go about the actual injury,” Creamer says. “It will take time. But be realistic with everything as well.”
Returning from an injury takes both time and patience. But by staying focused and keeping your expectations in check, you can begin working toward a return to form.
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