FARGO — It’s Thanksgiving in a couple of days and for at least the next four weeks, the golf clubs will be in hibernation for LPGA golfer Amy Olson. Recently finished with her sixth season on tour, Olson says the feeling is different now than it was out of college at North Dakota State.
She’s an established pro, finishing 15th this year among all Americans on the LPGA money list. Last week, she was elected to the LPGA Board of Directors as one of six player representatives, each of whom serve a two-year term.
“From a more of a business standpoint, you have more input into tournaments and how the tour is run,” said Olson, who lives in Fargo. “It gives you a veteran feel.”
At 27 years old, she is a veteran on the tour. Gone for at least now are those couple of years when she had to sweat out her tour card, once having had to go back to LPGA Qualifying School and another finishing 98th on the money list with the top 100 regaining their status.
She’ll never take having full status for granted.
“There is no job security in what I do, so to come to the end of the year and knowing I have a place to play is a good feeling,” Olson said. “There is definitely a security to have gone through it multiple times and maintain my position and perform under pressure. There’s an underlying confidence that comes from that. I’ve been doing that for six years and there’s a lot more of my life out there (on tour).”
She finished 58th on the money list with a season total of $335,819. It was below her career-high year of 2018 and Olson said there were “frustrating” moments over the course of the year.
“The main one is I never put myself in contention this year and that’s what really drives you, having that chance to win and putting yourself in position on Sunday,” she said. “I never got to that position.”
Her best finishes were a tie for fifth in the HSCB Women’s World Championship, a tie for seventh in the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open and a tie for 10th in the Women’s Australian Open. She also went through a stretch of missing four straight cuts and five in six tournaments with inconsistent ball striking being the biggest culprit.
It was unfortunate because she felt better with the putter in her hand than perhaps any other year on tour.
“I made big strides in my putting, so much more consistent overall on five-footers which is really important over a season,” Olson said. “Unfortunately those five-footers were for par instead of birdies. Putting has always been a little bit of a struggle in my career so it was fun to feel the confidence on these greens.”
Her season-ending statistics reflected her top 60 standing with her best a No. 26 ranking in greens in regulation. Getting closer with approach shots to that five-foot distance may be a point of emphasis next season since her 30.47 putts per round ranked her 119th.
She finished 29th in rounds under par and 33rd in birdies. She averaged 262 yards off the tee that ranked her 47th.
It was a worldly effort. She spent more time overseas than any previous year traveling to Singapore, Thailand and Australia to start the year, England and Scotland in August and China, Taiwan and Japan at the end of the season.
“I’m getting more used to it,” Olson said. “But I’m jet-lagged still.”
The wife of NDSU assistant football coach Grant Olson, the offseason will last until the first week of January when she’ll head back to Palm Springs, Calif., and work with her coach, Ron Stockton. Before that, she’ll periodically go to the Golf Addiction in south Fargo and hit some balls in a simulator.
“And hopefully watch some football games, the more the better,” she said.
That would mean the Bison advancing in the Division I FCS playoffs. When it comes to athletics and that household, there is no slowing down.