Member Highlight | Cheryl Anderson
Learning the Game
“If that one girl at 15 didn’t play golf with me, I wouldn’t have played much.”
Cheryl Anderson did not intend on becoming the award-winning golf professional she is today, but that’s surely the course her life has taken.
Cheryl never strived for a career in golf. She took up the sport as a seamless pastime whenever visiting her grandparents in Lake Placid, N.Y., but never fully perceived golf as her chosen career route.
“I never actually played golf until I was 15 years old. I had one other friend who played, so I started playing with her.”
As Cheryl’s interest in golf grew, the discouragement she encountered early on in her journey nearly halted her potential in the sport. After trying out for the all-boys team her senior year of high school, Cheryl missed joining the team by just one spot.
“The coach tracked me down the next day. If he hadn’t done that, I don’t think I would have played anymore.”
After informing Cheryl about an all-girls tournament she could participate in, she finished runner-up and went on to attend Rutgers University as a walk-on.
After finishing high school, Cheryl attended college to become a teacher. Her life and adolescence, chock-full with moments involving the outdoors, lead Cheryl to realize that she did not want to teach indoors. The revelation that she could teach golf outdoors led her down a career path that has enabled her to integrate her passion for teaching and her admiration for nature.
Cheryl, the Teacher
Describing her style of teaching as flexible, Cheryl cites inclusivity as one of the factors that drew her to teach the sport. Determined to ensure that the sport is comfortable for everyone (especially girls and individuals with disabilities), Cheryl aspires to create a positive environment, setting her students up for growth and prosperity.
“I enjoy teaching all levels of golfers. I don’t pin myself into one area. I like solving problems and helping people to feel good.”
Throughout her career, Cheryl has taught her students to be introspective and analyze why they possess a particular outlook on an event or course. If a student has a negative perception, she ultimately leads them to ponder the source of that feeling and compels them to acknowledge the positive in every situation.
“I taught a girl who became the number one junior in the country. She was in the Arizona State Thunderbird Invitational. She had a bad attitude about the course. I taught her about finding the positive and deep-diving into why you didn’t like the course, and then figure out how you’re gonna like it and change your mindset. She won it the next year.”
Career Accomplishments and Growing the Game
Cheryl cites her greatest career accomplishment as placing in the top 20 of the 2021 U.S. Senior Women’s Open. Not only was Cheryl surprised at how well she performed in the tournament, but she was awe-struck at watching some of her greatest career role models participate in the event.
“I was very inspired to watch these women who have paved the way for me to play, like JoAnne Carner, who is 82 years old. Also, to play alongside Hollis Stacey made me reinvigorated for the love of the game. Why slow down? These ladies are still going strong. That’s why golf is so cool.”
Cheryl reflects on her teaching career and the awards she has racked up throughout her colorful career.
“As a teacher, it is always nice to win awards. I am honored to have won the Teacher of the Year Award because I won it in two Sections. I won the Metropolitan PGA one in 2007, and the North Florida PGA Award in 2021. I am proud of those awards, as well as being the LPGA National Teacher of the Year in 2006.
Cheryl’s drive to grow the game remains at the forefront throughout her journey in the sport. Cheryl has taught people as old as 100 years old and is inspired by their will to improve their abilities regardless of their age.
As Cheryl continues to refine her own skills and build on her legacy, she relies on a support network of trusted people who help her keep focused. She has also learned to overcome her internal struggle of letting lingering emotions overcome her.
“The most challenging thing is when students leave. It has made me very discouraged, but it allows me to be retrospective and see what I can do better. I Now know how to close the door and not dwell on it. People come and go, and people want to try new things from different golf professionals.”
Lastly, Cheryl wants other Members to know one thing about her.
“I love Lake Placid! It’s where it all started for me.”