Editors Note: We caught up with Haley Italia, who finished 29th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list in 2015 after a 2014 season that was marred by injury, for a question and answer. The Pace, Florida native is gearing up for Final Stage of LPGA Qualifying Tournament and another chance to play on the LPGA. We received questions through social media and Haley was nice enough to answer. She will compete along with 159 other LPGA hopefuls Dec. 2-6 at LPGA International for 20 full LPGA spots.
Question: How do you prepare mentally for Q-School?
Haley: I have been visualizing how I want to feel at the course and away from the course and more specifically how I want to feel over particular shots at LPGA International.
Question: What’s the hardest part about Q-School? People sometimes refer to it as the hardest 5 days of golf.
Haley: The hardest part about Q-school would be staying present. It is very common to have much anticipation and it's very easy to get ahead of yourself. It is a tough week fighting that battle. It is very important to find rest when you are away from competition as well because everyday is a morning tee time.
Question: What is your best dinner recipe?
Haley: All my recipe's come from the incredible recipe books I got as wedding gifts so I can't really claim them but, I have gotten creative with Shrimp Scampi and Egg Plant Parmesan.
Question: What’s your workout routine like? What’s it like having your husband as your trainer?
Haley: My workout routine varies depending on if I am in season or out of season. My husband is fantastic, I am the one that gets a little high maintenance in the gym at times. My biggest struggle since the injury has been patience and he helps me a lot with that. Our ultimate goal is for me to have the most efficient golf swing I can have. With that, my programs consist of series of corrective, strength, and power workouts designed specifically for my needs and my golf swing. I am excited to finally be entering the power phase this off season! It's time to get my distance back since the injury.
Question: You’ve known Bubba Watson for a long time. What has he taught you?
Haley: Bubba has taught me that life is bigger than a game of golf and whether he knows or not he has taught me how to separate golf and family. He leaves everything at the course.
Question: What’s one part of your game that has taken a big step up or needs to take a big step up to compete and contend on the LPGA?
Haley: My wedge game and shot making has really take taken a big step. It's fun. Bottom line, I need to make more putts from 15-25 feet to compete and contend on the LPGA, and we have made steps to work on that this off season.
Question: Is there an LPGA Tour player or PGA Tour player you watched a lot growing up?
Haley: Obviously, I watched Bubba a lot growing up. I was fortunate enough to have him take me to a few tournaments and majors growing up. I will never forget them.
Question: I know eating healthy and working out is really important to you – has it always been? What are some of your nutrition/workout secrets?
Haley: I have always been a very active person and that is what is important to me. I enjoy eating healthy and working out because of how it makes me feel. It is fun to me. It is also a challenge and that is what I like. It keeps me strong and self-disciplined. I don't really have many secrets except advice to make healthy choices a way of life and know it’s ok to have a cheat day/meal. We are meant to enjoy what we have here on earth, just in moderation. P.S. I love ice cream!!
Question: What would define a successful 2016 season for you?
Haley: A successful season for me would be when I am 110% committed and grateful in every moment. To look back at the end of the year and be honest with myself that I was focused on living out my purpose, and that I became an inspiration to someone to do whatever they do with all their heart.
Question: Who is your favorite follow on social media inside the golf world and outside the golf world?
Haley: Inside the golf world, @MYTPI and @GolfChannel are my go to's. Outside the golf world, I just enjoy following all my friends from back home or college. I never know what I am going to get and that keeps me entertained.