Mar 04, 2024

Catching Up with Haley Bookholdt

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The latest episode of the T-Time with Tori podcast featured guest Haley Bookholdt, a former college golfer turned content creator. Hosted by Tori and co-host Kimberly Eaton, the wide-ranging conversation covered Haley's background in golf, her transition into creating online content, goals for the future, and more.

Haley's Golf Journey

Haley first got into golf at a young age, playing in her dad's weekly skins match. Golf was never off-limits growing up, and she developed a "very neutral relationship" with the sport in her early years.

After playing college golf at Elon University in North Carolina, Haley went through a "tough place with golf" before finding her way into content creation:

"I went through a phase where it was just like heartbreaking to not be one of them. But I really do feel like I've landed kind of where I need to land in the golf industry."

Now positioning herself as an "ambassador to the game," Haley sees her primary purpose and job as helping grow the sport, especially for women.

Pivoting to Content Creation

Haley shared the story of her pivot from competitive golf into creating online content:

"I hated golf. So I wasn't absorbing much golf content. And I think I made it a point early on, like I know people always say find content creators that you like and kind of model things after them. I definitely did that. But I found that it basically just ends up being like, copy paste, copy paste, copy paste."

Concerned about simply emulating others, Haley intentionally avoided following other golf creators at first, wanting to establish her own unique style. She pulled inspiration from lifestyle creators outside of golf to develop original ideas that she could then apply within her niche.

Over time, as she met other golf creators in person, Haley became more comfortable engaging with that community while still maintaining her distinct perspective.

Long-Term Goals

"I work a full, like I work all day every day. Yeah. So like, it's, if I'm filming golf content, I think my preparation will be to make the filming a little bit secondary in my mind."

With a busy work schedule creating content, Haley aims to keep a "low pressure, fun" mindset as she eases into playing more tournaments.

Further down the road, Haley shared this "uncomfortable, scary goal" that would mark a major accomplishment:

"Wouldn't it be fun if we qualified for a USGA event again, just one... Let's say just a couple years down the line, I start having, I stop having panic attacks on the golf course and we can actually like pull something good together. That'd be really fun. And I think it'd be really fun if you guys came out and watched, I'd feel so much more relaxed."

Beyond her own competitive endeavors, Haley wants to host amateur women's golf events, potentially developing a tour or league. She also aims to support professional tours like the LPGA, LET, and Epson Tour.

Key Advice and Perspectives

Throughout the conversation, Haley shared incredible perspectives on golf, anxiety, and life that can inspire us all. Here are 5 standout quotes:

On her biggest competitor:

"In my brain, since like, it's hard to imagine everybody, all my following and stuff as real people in my brain, those are still like my biggest competitors and like I'm my, my most insecure around them. Yet, like, my whole purpose is literally to help them."

On managing nerves:

"If you are speaking from a psychological standpoint, you would have to differentiate anxiety and nerves, which is what I touched on earlier. A little bit of anxiety is just simply not good for performance. And the difference is in how your brain's operating."
Looking ahead, Haley is slowly working towards dipping her toes back into competitive golf, starting with amateur four-ball events this summer. However, she acknowledges the realities of her current lifestyle:

On confidence:

 "How else do you gain the respect of others?...that has to come from obviously within, if you respect yourself, you care less about forcing others to see you a certain way."

On managing expectations:

 "Everybody wants to compete. Everybody wants to play well. Everybody wants to be liked and respected and all the things. And I think as long as you're focusing on that, coming from, not to be corny, but like legitimately from within, do you respect yourself? Do you like yourself? Do you think you're worthy of good things in life? Do you consider yourself to be a hard worker? You know, if you can check all those boxes, I think that's easy."

On alcohol and health:

"I think the majority of people who consume alcohol, it's just like, it's uninformed consent. You know, like, we don't talk about it that much. It affects fertility, it affects anxiety, it affects anxiety. Like even Pat people talk about anxiety."

YouTube Plans and Content Strategy

As part of her future plans, Haley shared that she will soon expand into creating YouTube content. However, she acknowledges the learning curve and extra work involved:

"I am gonna, it's gonna be a very slow start... 'cause I'm filming and editing everything pretty much on my own."

Rather than emulate the high-production value content from others, Haley aims for an authentic, raw, "fly on the wall" style where viewers feel like they are right there with her. She draws inspiration from vloggers outside golf who achieve this feeling.

When asked about her overall content strategy and sources of inspiration, Haley explained:

"I try not to pull any inspiration honestly from anybody in the golf world...I do pull inspiration from accounts outside of my niche because then automatically when I apply it to my niche, it is my own thing."

This intentional approach allows Haley's account to feel distinctly her rather than a replication of others.

Final Takeaways

Through her authenticity, honesty, and refreshing perspectives, Haley Bookholdt embodies a role model for the next generation of female golfers. She demonstrates that you can make an impact and carve your own path in the sport, even without a traditional competitive playing career.

The T-Time with Tori podcast does an excellent job spotlighting unique personalities like Haley. For more on her journey, check out the full conversation on all podcast streaming sites.

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