Hole in one

Sarasota Junior Golfer Jolie Pastorick Is Headed to the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals

Pastorick, 13, earned 143 points in her fifth regional and secured her spot in the National Finals in Augusta, Georgia.

By Yasi Bahmanabadi October 19, 2022

Jolie Pastorick with a medal.

Jolie Pastorick at the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship Regional Qualifier at The Bear's Club on Oct. 2, in Jupiter, Florida. 

Florida is more than the sunshine state: it's also a golfing capital, with the most courses in the country. So, it's no surprise it would produce athletes who can wield a club from early on.
The Bear's Club in Jupiter, Florida, hosted the Drive, Chip and Putt Regional Qualifier earlier this month, where 13-year-old Jolie Pastorick of Sarasota earned 143 points, securing her spot in the National Finals in Augusta, Georgia. She's one of 80 junior golfers representing 29 states and two Canadian provinces who have earned the invitation to compete; the tournament is slated for April 2 of next year. 

Pastorick competed the Sunday right after Cat. 4 Hurricane Ian tore through Southwest Florida. A Philadelphia transplant, she moved to Florida already familiar with hurricanes and knew how to live without power—but this time around Ian's timing added a challenge to her preparation. When she and her family evacuated their Sarasota home due to the storm, she still needed to find a place to practice before the big game. So she made do at a PGA Tour Superstore, an indoor golf club in Palm Beach, where she could chip and putt. 

Pastorick is especially elated to be among the finalists after four previous attempts–three years ago, she missed qualifying by just one single point. "I am really excited to meet a lot of cool people there; I have been working hard for it and I’ve waited to be able to go for a long time," she says.

She was inspired by the 2013 documentary Short Game, which follows the world's best seven- and eight-year-old golfers competing for the world championship of junior golf in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

For her part, Pastorick has been playing golf since she was six with help from her father, who was also her coach, and her sports skills flourished. “I got better very quickly and within a year I played my first world championship at seven years old. It just got more competitive from there,” she says. 

As a young female golfer, she encourages her friends at school by showing them they can also pursue sports. Her advice? Don't give up. “If I would have given up, I wouldn’t be able to make it today, and I never stopped trying even though I lost previous times before this year,” she says. 

That perseverance has her practicing every day after school and playing tournaments on weekends. By sacrificing her "fun time" to focus on her high-stakes craft, she sets an example for her peers.

Pastorick is set to play several other tournaments before competing in Augusta, including the Notah Begay III Girls Golf National Championship in Louisiana, and looks forward to more future opportunities as an athlete.

“I am looking forward to playing high-level tournaments and meeting more friends," she says.  "I am also excited for the future, to be able to play in high school and college."

And while her peers look to up to her, who does Pastorick look up to? Her favorite pro golfer is Nelly Korda of Sarasota, who won the gold medal for team USA at last year's Olympics.

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