Attending Augusta is the pinnacle of an amateur career. Immediately after, Sára Kousková evolves among the professionals. This season, he will most often play on the second European circuit, where he wants to score enough points to go directly to the Ladies European Tour. And further? She is already looking at Olympic Paris… “It would be nice to represent the Czech Republic”, smiles a curly girl with extraordinary sporting and artistic talent.
How important will the 2022 season be for you?
“Definitely a lot, it will be one of the biggest. I have a lot of challenges ahead of me, I will transfer to professionals, I will return from America to Europe. I am finishing my university studies abroad , I have a graduation diploma in front of me and the end of the university season awaits me. To all this was added the pleasant news of participating in the Augusta tournament, which will close the amateur part of the season.”
And then you throw yourself among the professionals?
“Yes it is. I will probably focus on the LET ACCES Series tournaments (the second most prestigious tour in Europe after the Ladies European Tour). I need to collect as many Order of Merit points as possible in order to to be able to directly access the LET without graduating from a qualifying school. This will be the main objective of the second part of the season. Of course, the year 2022 will also be devoted to the creation of facilities in the Czech Republic. We will complete the personal team, looking for partners who could help me on the path among professionals. It will also be a matter of responsibility, I have to take responsibility for what the university has done for me so far. Or divide them as a team. Like I said, I have a lot of challenges and news ahead of me. I’m so looking forward to it.”
You have the last weeks of amateur status ahead of you. Will you turn professional after the Augusta championship?
“It just came to our knowledge at that time. But you never know what can happen. Certainly some percentages are on the side of amateur status, but the plan is clear: to go to the professionals after Augusta National. “
From June, players will start jumping for the Olympics. Is this your medium-term objective?
“One hundred percent. I see the Olympics as the pinnacle. An athlete can do no more. The Olympic history of golf is somewhat broken. Our sport was played under five circles in 1904 in Saint Louis, then only after 112 years in Rio de Janeiro. Olympic history has no golf in its rucksack, so to speak. (laughs) Personally, however, I perceive it intensely, because I watched the Olympic Games in winter and summer when I was a child. It was always an incredible experience. To fight in Paris would be a great honor for me and the realization of an unreal dream. It would be beautiful to represent Czechia.”
Is Klára Spilková your inspiration? She played at the Rio and Tokyo Olympics.
“We both take a slightly different path. I definitely follow Klára, I learn from her, especially when it comes to accessing certain things. From a Czech golf perspective, she has done a lot. But it’s not my inspiration, but rather an example. That’s the right word. Klára chose the direct route on the Ladies European Tour. But after high school – paradoxically, we studied at the same high school as Otto Paul – I went abroad. I’m still studying in America, I’m planning to move to Europe only now. Our backgrounds are a little different. No one can say which is more correct. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. When I decided where to go, studies played an important role. It’s very important to me. That’s why I wanted to start the sports track gradually. After high school, I didn’t feel ready enough to do a professional tour. America shaped me, now I’m a player q ui can successfully work among professionals. Even last summer’s decision not to play Q-School on the LPGA (American Professional Series) was the result of a realistic assessment of quality. I just didn’t think I had the best league in the world.”
A week before the famous Men’s Masters, you will play the Women’s Amateur Championship in Augusta. Is this a dream come true?
“Absolutely. It’s the result of three years of effort. It’s more difficult for international golfers to get to Augusta. It was difficult to get participation, finally it worked out, which I’m very happy about. “And now…I’m just going to play Augusta! It’s surrounded by absolutely amazing history. It literally exudes honesty. There’s no such place in the world. I’m going to try the course where the Masters will be played. in a week. Phew…”
You play as the first lady of the Czech Republic on the famous playground. Do you realize the privilege you have been granted?
“It just came to our knowledge at that time. It’s a big celebration of Czech golf. I hope to be able to share it with other Czech players soon.”
What do you want to prove to Augusta? Go through the cut, place in the twentieth place, or even win?
“I don’t like to set myself specific goals before the tournament. Golf is a completely unpredictable game. There is not much to influence in that regard. I will try to keep the game complete enough to withstand the two courses where the amateur championship will be played. Quality mental preparation will also be important before the tournament. This is an event that is not only about sports results, cameras, parents, working with the media and all the rest “You have to adjust my head so that I don’t go crazy and be unnecessarily captivated by the atmosphere and the environment. That will be extremely important.”
You have already seen her at Augusta, she played a practice round on the famous course. Did you breathe the atmosphere of an exceptional club?
“It was great to be able to see it. Augusta’s first shock, which is really amazing, is behind me. I played a practice round, it was exactly February 20. I felt everything enough the course, I enjoyed it magnificently. The sporty side could go a little aside. I managed to shake off my amazement. It looks horrible, I know… (laughs) But before practice and then the final , this experience is damn important. I already know what I’m going to do. I’m not going to look around, but focus on my own game. It’s hard to be in Augusta. I’m ready to watch every flower and each shrub and admire their beauty.”
What surprised you the most?
“It just came to our knowledge at that time. Augusta is an exceptional place. Maybe Scottish St. Andrews, which has a slightly different history. It’s all about the Masters here. Walking on a ground where the he history of golf was forming was something extraordinary. I have a super caddy assigned. In the first year of the amateur championship Jennifer Kupcho, who won the tournament. I had a lot of absolutely valuable advice not only on the field, but on the whole event. I’m really happy to have had the opportunity to be on a training trip in February.”
What are the specificities of the player? What should you follow?
“I don’t have all the protocol yet, but given that the tournament is broadcast on television (it’s also live with Czech television – editor’s note), the dress code will be important. It will be watched a lot more than in classic tournaments. I’ll also have to tame the misses and swallow a few words… Otherwise, the players themselves are not as affected by the rules as the caddy or the spectators. Strict rules are established in Augusta. The fans do not are not allowed to take photos, they can’t bring any photo taking facilities to the venue. So no smartphone. The owners are very protective of the course. The caddies wear the famous white uniforms. That’s enough.”
“Ten for now. But you know what, you better write that my favorite is everyone. Each one is unique. The holes are named after the plants, shrubs and trees that are on the ground. Everything is linked to the history of the playground, which was originally a nursery of exotic trees imported from Asia.This is one of the reasons why the connection with plants is strong and creates a incredible aesthetic effect. Already in February some shrubs began to bloom. It was very beautiful, during our tournament the final impression will be even stronger.”
Will you be staying at Augusta and the Masters? Do you have an invitation?
“Unfortunately, I don’t have one. I can’t even stay. I’m going to have to catch up on school. Before Augusta, I still have a college tournament in Georgia. I’m definitely going to watch the Masters on TV. and still absorb a lot of experiences.”
I would be sorry. And you?
(laughs) “I’m sorry too. But even on TV, the whole week with the Masters is awesome. I’m already looking forward to it.”
At which university are you studying and in which field?
“I study at the University of Texas at Austin, my field is called “studio art”. I mainly focus on sculpture and painting. I do my art classes in university in my workshop. Whether it’s painting or sculpting. But my favorite room is the Wood shop, where we work with wood, we have access to sawmills and other equipment. We also have the possibility of welding, we use a gypsum, a assembly factory, a ceramic room and other special rooms. The possibilities are incredible. It all depends on what the student offers. Because we are management teachers very conceptually, I can manage the school with the golf. Depending on a certain mission, I manage the project more or less on my own, I can schedule time. I create the concept myself, which is great.”
It’s different from the Czech Republic, isn’t it?
“The differences are really crucial. All the needs are distributed throughout the year. Finally, there are full semester exams in some subjects, on the contrary in others. In art, we have an associated final project to criticism. There’s nothing like a state dissertation or a license dissertation, which suits me rather well. I had the opportunity to follow many subjects related to environmental sciences. I liked it, I liked it.”
When I listen to you like this, due to the time-consuming nature of linking a school to golf, it’s also an art. What are you saying?
(smile) “Everything here is subordinate to the student. He comes first. But sporting life affects everything terribly. It’s more specific to golf, we spend a lot of time on the course. Whereas, for example, athletes go to the gym in the morning, then they have a two hour workout and they can use the rest of the day for themselves, we have a gym, a school and we spend the whole second half of the day playing golf . I do my homework in the evening, go to bed and again in the morning. It is not easy, but it is an excellent preparation for life, a person’s personality is formed. Thanks to the busy schedule, I will learn time management. I couldn’t do it without that. Also, without a lot of people helping me.”