Savannah Grewal: Pacing For Success

Savannah Grewal: Pacing For Success

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There’s a famous saying in golf that the journey to success is not a sprint but rather it’s a marathon. Having first dedicated herself to the sport at the age of eight those words of wisdom resonate with 22-year-old LPGA rookie Savannah Grewal.

Growing up in Mississauga, Ontario, young Savannah was first introduced to the sport by her mother Katarina at the age of six. She recalls her humble beginnings from her first golf lesson.

“I have a video from that lesson where I swung and missed on my first shot,” she said with a laugh. “But I remember it was a lot of fun.”

Grewal was also introduced to soccer, tennis, gymnastics, and ballet but she found her passion in the sport of golf.  So much so that at the age of eight she declared to her parents that her goal was to make it onto the LPGA one day.

Her parents were supportive of those ambitions but emphasized that achieving a goal like that wouldn’t happen overnight and would require a long-term dedication to continuous improvement.

The Canadian National Team Member remembers going to the golf course with her dad, Ashoak, and practising for hours upon hours.

“My goal use to be to hit 500 to a 1000 golf balls a day. So there were just countless hours on the golf course trying to get better,” she recalled.

“I loved the fact that golf wasn’t like any other sport. There are so many different aspects to work on.  You could work on your driving, pitching, your iron game, bunker game, putting, etc.”

Grewal recalls a strong result at a prestigious junior tournament that reaffirmed her belief that she was on the right path to success.

“I remember going to the U.S. Kids World Championship which was a big deal back then and not doing too good the first time and going back the following year and finishing top 15.  I think I was nine or 10 around that time and it was motivation that I was on the right track.”

Former LPGA Tour pro and National Team member Rebecca Lee-Bentham recalls her favourable first impression of Grewal.

“I think I was in my second year on (LPGA) Tour at the time and she must have been around 12 and her coached asked me to play a few holes with her. My first impression was that she and her dad had a similar drive to what my dad and I had growing up.”

That drive and dedication for success on the golf course required Grewal to make some sacrifices.

“The winters are cold in Canada so I used to go to Florida from January to April to train there,” recalled Grewal, who also missed her high school graduation because she was competing in a tournament.

She adds that it was difficult to see her friends on social media doing fun things while she was in a different country working on her game. But Grewal took comfort in having the full support of her family; and having clarity on why she was making that sacrifice.

“I was fortunate to have my grandparents with me and I always knew what my end goal was and knew it was just a stepping stone on that journey,” she said.

Her success as a junior would see her win the Drive, Chip and Putt tournament for the girls 14-15 category in 2017 at Augusta National. The following year in 2018 she won the AJGA Hale Irwin Colorado Junior tournament.

Grewal would go on to play collegiate golf for the Clemson Tigers.

“Playing at Clemson has been amazing. It has a family-oriented environment and it was great to win the ACC team championship last year,” she said.

“My teammates are some of my best friends and I have nice memories of hanging out post round as we would always go get dinner and then ice cream after.”

The Mississauga, Ont., native is also grateful to be part of the Canadian National Team Program.

“It’s great because we get the opportunity to compete in some of the biggest tournaments against the best in the world. And it’s always special to represent your country on a big stage.”

A special moment for Grewal and her family came last December when she realized her childhood dream and earned her LPGA Tour card after finishing in a tie for 10th spot at the LPGA Q-Series.

The five foot four inch Grewal was playing her A game which saw her utilize her strong ball striking along with a consistent iron game; and that allowed her to hit a lot of greens.

“Overall, I felt I was really steady.  I hit some good shots, made some putts when I needed and didn’t get into any real trouble,” she noted.

While the six rounds of the LPGA Q-Series last December were very much like a marathon of sorts, Grewal paced herself perfectly and spoke about her emotions as she was about to cross the finish line in a tie for 10th spot.

“I tried not to think about it, but walking onto 18 after hitting the green, I knew this was it I was going to get my LPGA Tour card and it kind of felt surreal,” she recalled.

“I blacked out a bit, it didn’t feel like I was living in reality.  It felt all the hard work put in was paying off.”

Grewal says achieving her childhood dream was that much sweeter knowing she is able to share that success with those closest to her.

“My grandma called me afterwards and cried. It was a special day and proud achievement for our entire family,” she said.

“My grandparents on my dad’s side immigrated to Canada from India and worked very hard to give their kids the best opportunities. Hearing their stories inspired me to work just as hard as a way to give respect back and be someone that they would be proud of,” Grewal added.

Having followed Grewal’s journey since their original meeting many years ago, Lee-Bentham is optimistic about the LPGA Tour rookie’s future.

“I’ve seen Savannah do some amazing things during her collegiate career and I’m excited for her new journey on the LPGA Tour,” Lee-Bentham said.

“Golf Canada has put a lot of effort over the years to help players like myself and the new generation of golfers. It just goes to show that success isn’t made overnight and it takes a whole team for one player to make it,” she added.

“Savannah has her whole family and country supporting her and I believe she is capable of greater things to come.”

Besides setting her sights on getting into the winner’s circle on the LPGA, the 22-year-old has ambitions of representing Canada one day at the Olympics.

One interesting fact is her brother, Jordan, plays table tennis for the Canadian National Table Tennis team, so her dream would be to both compete for Canada at the same Olympics. He was also her caddy recently at the Blue Bay tournament in China where she finished in a tie for fourth place.

The LPGA rookie knows the journey in this next chapter will require that same discipline and focus to pace herself to achieve long term success.

“Now is a whole new chapter in my career,” said Grewal.

“This rookie season, I just want to work hard and be as competitive as I can.  I want to stay steady, never get ahead of myself, just compete; and hopefully, I will be in contention.”

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