Over the course of the next several weeks, I'll introduce you to each member of the Maryland women's golf team including the incoming freshmen. This is an opportunity to learn a little about more about the women who hit the links throughout the year. This week, rising senior Christine Shimel reflects on her time in College Park.
Q: What attracted you to the University of Maryland?A number of things attracted me to the University of Maryland. Growing up, I always pictured myself at a big school. Maryland offered all the resources I needed to succeed on and off the golf course. The top-notch academics combined with the opportunity to play the highest level of collegiate golf in the ACC sold me on Maryland. Also, the southern tournament schedule was an added benefit after living in the northeast my entire life.
Q: You were named to the All-ACC Academic team for the third consecutive year this week. How does it feel to earn the honor and how do you balance your academic responsibilities with your golf responsibilities?
I am very honored to be named to the All-ACC Academic team for the third consecutive year. As a marketing and Spanish double major, it is not easy to balance the demands of collegiate golf and academics. Time management is the key to success both on and off the golf course. I really hope to be an example for others that it is possible to be a top golfer in the ACC and an honor roll student, but it takes dedication, perseverance, and sacrifice to achieve both goals. I always tell myself that in order to be successful, it takes more than the required 20 hours of practice a week mandated by the NCAA to be a great golfer, and it takes more than eight hours of study hall to succeed in the academic world. I am a firm believer that hard work pays off and I am extremely fulfilled and honored to receive such recognition.
Q: What is your proudest or top athletic achievement to this point in your life?
My proudest athletic achievement was capturing the 2010 ECU Lady Pirate Collegiate after shooting rounds of 71-72-69. Another memorable athletic achievement was being named to the All-ACC team my freshman year.
Q: What has been your favorite experience on the course and off the course at the University of Maryland?
My favorite experience on the course has been the opportunity to meet people from other schools, countries, and cultures and have the chance to practice my Spanish skills with international players. Off the course, my favorite experience has been cheering on my fellow Terp athletes in their respective sports, especially showing off my Maryland Pride at football and basketball games. Off the golf course, I have experienced a supportive athletic community and truly believe that all athletes are united as one Terp family. Another great experience both on and off the course has been the opportunity to be an ambassador for Under Armour, a small idea that was created by a Terrapin athlete that has resulted in worldwide success.
Q: Which area of your game are you trying to improve for next year?
I am focusing on improving my putting for next year. A few putts can make all the difference in the world.
Q: Of the courses you have played, which is your favorite and why?
My favorite course I have played is Yeamans Hall in Charleston, S.C. Not only was it the course I played for my first collegiate tournament, but the club is historic and holds natural beauty with only a small number of hidden homes on the entire property.
Q: What is/are your superstition(s)?
I have used the same purple mark on my golf ball since I first started playing tournament golf.
Q: What actress should play you in a movie of your life?
Reese Witherspoon because she has an infectious smile just like me.
Q: If you did not play golf, what other sport would you play?>
If I wasn't a golfer, I would be a swimmer. I was a competitive swimmer when I was younger and gave it up to focus on golf.
Q: What are your career aspirations after graduation?
I would like to pursue a career in sales and marketing and climb the ladder in the corporate world. I have a special interest in sports, international projects, and the Spanish language. I would love to find a job in the golf or sports industry and combine my passion for sports with my business background.
Q: What are your personal and team goals for next year?
My personal goals for next season are to continue to lower my scoring average, make the All-ACC team, and strive to be an All-American. As a team captain for the 2012-2013 season, I want to create a positive environment for the entire team, lead by example, and make everyone have fun because four years goes by so fast playing college golf. As a team, I want Maryland to compete at the NCAA finals for the first time in the program's history, come in the top-3 at the ACC tournament, and compete week in and week out for tournament titles. My academic goal for the team is to reclaim the President's Cup, an award given to the team with the highest cumulative GPA.