As a 20-year old Symetra Tour veteran, Victoria Elizabeth has had a rocky-road well-traveled to finally find herself in the position she has always worked for. The Ohio native grew up playing competitive tennis and golf as a junior but her father decided it would be best for her to pursue solely golf. It was the first of many decisions that would be made for her in her career.
“It was a pretty controlled environment,” said Elizabeth. “I was homeschooled and honestly didn’t really have a childhood.”
Through much of her success on the junior circuit, she started to think of the next step in her career, but was told she did not have the option to go to college. She recorded seven wins on the Future Collegians World Tour (2006-2008) and was a two-time FCWT First-Team All-American selection and Player of the Year (2007, 2008). In addition to her four wins on the AJGA in 2008, she reached as high as No. 3 in Golfweek’s junior rankings.
“I think I would have loved to go to college,” said Elizabeth. “Coaches weren’t allowed to talk to me on the range or any of that. My dad would sit there behind me while I practiced and didn’t let anyone come up to me. I probably could have gone anywhere.”
Elizabeth, who is rather candid about her consuming and unconventional upbringing, said that it was in 2008 when her mother decided to remove her and her sister out of the abusive environment. But things would not necessarily get much better and it wasn’t long until Elizabeth was on her own as a 16-year old without any parental help or guidance. At the height of her young career where everything seemed to be going in the right direction, she found herself in a depleting and unwarranted situation for a rising golf star.
“I definitely learned how to grow up,” said Elizabeth. “I just try to look back on it and know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without going through what I did. People ask me how I turned out normal.”
Her earnestness about her humble beginnings is apparent when she talks about her past and she says it has only made her appreciate everything she has now even more.
“I definitely cherish the small things and especially the people in my life,” said Elizabeth.
She has been a bit of a journey woman, receiving help from family friends and people she has met along the way in her career.
“I feel older than I am, for sure,” said Elizabeth. “I’ve learned so much in the past three years and feel like things are really coming together. It’s been a journey and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it.”
She had seven starts on the Symetra Tour in 2009 as a 17-year old amateur, making five cuts and notched a top-10 finish. She finished her first professional season in 2010 ranked 69th on the Tour’s money list and had a season-best finish of T11.
Just a season ago, she said she really learned the key to playing at the highest level. And it surprisingly all had to do with mistakes.
“I think the biggest thing is how to just minimalize your mistakes and how good your mess ups are,” said Elizabeth. “There are so many good players out here who are going to put together great rounds. You just have to keep your bad swings and mistakes small.”
Elizabeth finished 42nd on the money list a year ago and came into the 2012 season in a good mindset. She has made six out of seven cuts so far and has posted two runner-up finishes, something she said she worked hard for but still wants something more.
“It’s great to put a week like that together but it’s honestly tough when you’re that close to winning,” said Elizabeth. “I want that win so bad.”
Now positioned in the top-10 on the Volvik Race for the Card standings at No. 5, Elizabeth is in prime position to achieve her ultimate goal of moving on to the LPGA Tour. It’s been a long, arduous road to get to this point but she knows that without the challenges she has overcome, she wouldn’t be the player or person she is today.
“I don’t want my past to necessarily define who I am and be known for it, but it’s definitely part of my story,” said Elizabeth. “I think I’ve done a pretty good job of making the most of what I have and turning things into a positive.”