Expecting mom Amy Olson gearing up for 10th year on LPGA Tour
The North Dakota State graduate is hoping to play through June and possibly in the U.S. Women's Open in July.
FARGO — Last season didn’t go as planned for Amy Olson on the LPGA Tour, and so the Fargo golfer is doing something about it. She worked on her game under a new swing coach and appears as motivated as ever.
She’ll also have company every step of the way when she tees it up for the first time this season. The 30-year-old Olson and her husband, North Dakota State assistant football coach Grant Olson, are expecting their first child in September, an announcement they made Sunday on the social media platform Instagram.
“We are very excited,” Amy said.
Olson begins her LPGA season in mid-April at the LOTTE Championship in Hawaii. The plan is to play at least through June, she said.
“For this year, I’m going to play until I can’t play anymore,” she said.
As for the long term, Olson said that will be a decision that will be made down the road.
“I know I’m not going to play this game until I’m 50,” she said. “But just like I always have, I’m looking forward to this year but at the point it gets too hard to play, I’ll put the clubs away.”
She’s hoping to play in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship June 22-25. She’s not ruling out the U.S. Women’s Open July 6-9 at Pebble Beach, Calif., if she qualifies and if she feels up to it.
“If I qualify for that, I think I’m going to waddle up there and do whatever I can,” she said with a laugh.
The Oxbow native and NDSU graduate is entering her 10th year on the LPGA Tour, a career that has seen her accumulate 13 top-10 finishes. She’s also coming off a 2022 season that saw her miss 11 cuts in 23 tournaments after a banner year in 2021 (17 made cuts in 22 tournaments) and 2020 (13 of 16). She was the runnerup in the U.S. Women’s Open and Australian Open in 2019.
But last year wasn’t up to speed. Olson took time off over the winter like she usually does before picking up the clubs in mid-January.
“Overall, I’ve taken advantage of the offseason,” she said.
She switched swing coaches in the middle of last LPGA season, a mutual separation from Ron Stockton in Palm Springs, Calif. Olson said Stockton took her game to a higher level, but after a period of self-evaluation, it was time for a different set of eyes on her swing.
“He’s always wanted nothing but the best for me,” she said. “And he said he’s known this was coming for a couple of months. I believed we were going to find a solution and then there was kind of a day where it was like, we’re not going to get there and we just have to try something else.”
She felt her ball striking improved as the year went along after losing distance on her shots the first part of the season. She was hitting it thin and missing right more often than was acceptable.
There were three straight tournaments where she said she didn’t feel right standing over the ball.
“Honestly I’ve seen a ton of progress,” she said. “I feel probably the best I’ve ever felt about my golf swing, which is exciting. For anyone who has played the sport as long as I have, it’s really important to remain excited about the game and always have something you’re working on and working toward.”
Olson is retaining her long-term caddy Taneka Sandiford, at least as long as she physically feels up to playing. And putting last year behind her.
“For sure frustrating,” she said. “Last year was the first year where it was like, we’re not trying to do anything different but something is not working. As an athlete, especially an individual athlete, you’re the CEO and you’re the one that has to make the call on, is this going in the right direction?”