Apr 29, 2024

[Champion Series] 2018 USGA Women's MidAm Champion, Shannon Johnson

mental hurdles of golf podcast tournament golf

Have you ever felt like giving up on your dreams? Shannon Johnson knows that feeling all too well. But instead of throwing in the towel, she persevered through the ups and downs of her golfing career and emerged as a champion.

In this episode of T-Time with Tori, we dive into the inspiring story of Shannon Johnson, a golfer who has faced her fair share of challenges but never let them hold her back. From her early days playing junior golf to her stunning victory at the 2018 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship, Shannon's journey is a testament to the power of persistence and passion.

From New Mexico to Indiana: Shannon's College Golf Career

Shannon started playing golf at the tender age of eight, thanks to the encouragement of her grandparents. Her talent quickly became apparent, and she went on to play college golf at the University of New Mexico for three years before transferring to Indiana University for her final year.

But Shannon's college golf experience was far from smooth sailing. She found herself struggling to keep up with her teammates and questioning whether she had what it takes to make it as a professional golfer.

Despite her doubts, Shannon refused to give up on her love for the game. She decided to take a break from competitive golf after college and focus on her career, working for Ping Golf in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Road to the Mid-Amateur: Balancing Work and Golf

As Shannon settled into her new life in Phoenix, she found herself missing the thrill of competition. She decided to give the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship a shot, qualifying for her first one at the age of 25.

But balancing work and golf proved to be a challenge. Shannon had to use up all her vacation days to compete in the tournament, and even had to rely on her coworkers to pool money to help her with the travel expenses.

Despite the obstacles, Shannon made the cut in her first Mid-Amateur appearance and even won a match before losing to Mina Hardin, a seasoned competitor from Texas.

Shannon's experience at the Mid-Amateur lit a fire within her, but she knew she had to focus on her career for the time being. It would be another five years before she competed in the tournament again.

The Ups and Downs of Competitive Golf

As Shannon continued to balance her work and golf commitments, she found herself facing new challenges on the course. In 2016, she made it all the way to the final of the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship, only to lose to Julia Potter-Bobb in a heartbreaking finish.

But Shannon refused to let the loss define her. She used it as motivation to work even harder on her game, spending countless hours in the gym and on the course.

Her hard work paid off in 2018, when she finally claimed the title of U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Champion. It was a moment of pure joy and vindication for Shannon, who had faced so many obstacles and setbacks on her journey to the top.

"I remember having to, I think I had like on the tee shot, I had to back off because there was like a maintenance car going by and I'm like, what the heck? Like, you know, I'm in my zone." - Shannon Johnson

The Power of Perseverance

Throughout her golfing career, Shannon has faced countless challenges and setbacks. But what sets her apart is her unwavering determination and resilience in the face of adversity.

Whether it's dealing with a tough loss, balancing work and golf commitments, or struggling with her swing, Shannon never gives up. She knows that success in golf, as in life, is all about perseverance and staying true to yourself.

The Importance of Family and Community

One of the things that has kept Shannon going through the ups and downs of her golfing career is the support of her family and community.

Her parents have been a constant presence at her tournaments, cheering her on from the sidelines and providing emotional support when she needs it most.

Shannon also credits her success to the support of her friends and fellow golfers, who have been there for her through thick and thin.

The Future of Women's Golf

As a champion and role model for aspiring female golfers, Shannon is passionate about growing the game and inspiring the next generation of players.

She believes that events like the Desert Classic, which she has competed in for the past two years, are crucial for promoting women's golf and fostering a sense of community among players of all levels.

Shannon also sees the merger of men's and women's golf associations as a positive step forward for the sport, despite the challenges that come with such a transition.

"Massachusetts Golf Association has, they merged a few years ago with the women's, the women's group was separate. When they merged, it was awesome. Obviously they have way more resources, they can put more people in place and we can run these championships so much better." - Shannon Johnson


Shannon Johnson's story is one of perseverance, passion, and the power of community. Through her ups and downs on the golf course, she has shown us that anything is possible if you stay true to yourself and never give up on your dreams.

As she continues to compete at the highest levels of the sport and inspire the next generation of female golfers, Shannon reminds us that golf is about so much more than just winning tournaments. It's about the friendships we make, the challenges we overcome, and the memories we create along the way.

So the next time you find yourself facing a tough shot or a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, remember Shannon Johnson's words of wisdom:

"You just gotta keep the focus. You just gotta keep putting the pedal down. Don't let the end kind of creep into your mind of what task is at hand." - Shannon Johnson

With determination, resilience, and a little bit of grit, there's no telling how far you can go.

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