Stephanie Mingos ′11
Hometown: Kansas City, KS
Fun Fact: Stephanie is a two time All-American who placed 5th in 2008 and 12th in 2009 in the NCAA Division III Golf Championship
How and when did you start playing golf?
I started playing when I was 6 years old. My two older brothers used to play a tournament in Kansas City. When my parents found out there was a girls age group for six and under they gave my sister and me each a set of clubs and told us if we played we could win a trophy. After that, it just stuck.
What made you decide to join the team at Rhodes?
I knew in high school that I wanted to play golf at the next level but Rhodes wasn’t initially on my list. Rhodes is Division III and I thought I wanted to play at a higher level. Coach Clary actually found my name on a scouting Web site and that’s when Rhodes came into the picture. Although it wasn’t the strongest program I considered, it did have a history of being nationally ranked (top 5 between 2000 and 2003) and I felt it had a sort of potential that other schools lacked. I was also drawn to the idea that I didn’t need to limit myself to golf. I wanted a more complete college experience. I am so grateful for the liberty I’ve had here to pursue my interests—as a result, I am a member of a great sorority, have had the chance to show my competitive edge in intramurals, and have still had the time for my studies and my friends.
What is your favorite part of your golf uniform? Please tell me you get to wear some plaid.
My favorite part is definitely the farmer’s tan. You just have to embrace it. You’ll be wearing flip flops to class and it will look like you have socks on.
How do you train for golf?
Where and when we practice depends on the day of the week. Half the days of the week we go out to a range to chip and putt, other times we’ll go out and play 9 or 18 holes. When school picks up it becomes a little more difficult to allocate huge chunks of time to practice- that’s why time management and dedication really play key roles.There are always other things going on. I know what level I want to be at and it requires more than just showing up. You must make the time to improve. Someone is not always telling you to go practice. You have to get out there and do it yourself. Golf is a very self-driven sport.
Do you have a favorite round?
One of my most memorable moments in college golf was the first round of the national championships my freshman year. During that first round, only Coach and my dad were watching—a lot of other people were following me online back at Rhodes or at home. That afternoon in Waverly, Iowa, the wind picked up to nearly 30 miles per hour, rain rolled in, and the day had only just begun. Despite the conditions, I remained indescribably calm. Coach kept me focused and in the moment. On the last hole I sank a fifteen footer to shoot a one under par 71 to lead the tournament. All I could think was, “I can’t believe I’m on this stage and was able to do this!”
What are your aspirations for golf after Rhodes?
I feel like I have a next level in me. I definitely want to pursue it; I’d like to think professionally. But nothing has ever come to me all at once. It takes time and practice.