Professional Golf student Michaela Patzeltova was introduced to the game as a child in Slovakia when the junior tour was introduced in 2006.
More than a decade later, the 20-year-old has graduated with an HND from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) in Fife and has a place at Abertay University to study Sports Development and Coaching.
“Our Slovak Golf Association introduced the junior tour to support junior golf in Slovakia,” she said. “These tournaments were affordable, so my brother and I started competing. We met a lot of friends this way, we were enjoying it and got quite competitive against each other.
“When I was 15, I started thinking more about working in the golf Industry in the future. Unfortunately there are no colleges or universities in Slovakia where you can study golf. My friend, who had been studying at SRUC Elmwood, told me about his experience as a student and I knew immediately that I wanted to study there as well.”
She chose to study Professional Golf because she wants to be a coach in the future, and she felt the course would give her the skills and work experience she needs.
In addition to her studies, she worked as a Sports and Activities Officer for the Student Association and was involved in various activities to encourage students to get active, such as the Healthy Body, Healthy Mind campaign, and meditation, yoga, and football sessions.
She also did junior coaching through the St Andrews Links Golf Junior Association, internships with Scottish Student Sport and her club back in Slovakia, and a work experience placement at Gleneagles Golf resort.
The biggest challenge she faced was with English.
“At the beginning it was more difficult for me to adapt but due to great support from my lecturers, my English language has improved a lot over a period of time,” she said.
“I really appreciate how our lecturers were always keen and happy to help us with whatever we were struggling with. The support students receive is above and beyond.”
After completing her degree she hopes to work in a golf club in Scotland for a couple of years and gain coaching qualifications before starting her own business.