Athlete of the week: Abbey Gittings

A lot of people use golf as a way to schmooze over perspective business partners. But for others, such as Abbey Gittings, golf is more than just a casual day on the course; it’s her passion.

The Tamworth, England native has been playing since her grandfather bought her a set of clubs when she was 5 years old. She has been hooked ever since and hopes to make it her career.

Gittings, an NSU junior and sport and recreation management major, said that she has improved her game since moving to Davie to play for the Sharks in fall 2009.

During her first semester, she played in four tournaments, coming in the top 10 in two of them. Her second semester had its ups and downs, finishing as high as fourth at the Sunshine State Conference Championships and finishing as low as 39th at the Hoya Women’s Invitational. But, by the end of the year, Gittings was awarded with the SSC Freshman of the Year award and the NCAA Division II National Freshman of the Year award.

Gittings’s success on the course continued in the 2010-2011 season. In the fall, she finished third in the NSU Shark Invitational. Gittings avenged her 39th place finish at the Hoya Women’s Invitational by placing fourth overall, helping the Sharks win the entire tournament. Her biggest finish of the season was when she placed second with a score of 217(+1) in the NCAA South Regional tournament. Gittings was selected to the National Golf Coaches Association Division II First-Team All-American.

Gittings’ junior year was one that most athletes only dream about. She placed in the top 10 in 10 out of 11 tournaments. At the end of the year, she was named the NGCA/PING National Player of the year, SSC Female Athlete of the Year and the SSC Player of the year. She was also awarded spots on the NGCA Division II All-America First-Team, Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District First-Team and on the All-SSC First-Team.


I sat down with Gittings to ask her a few questions:


What is your best memory in golf?

I would say winning Nationals last year.


What is your best accomplishment in your career?

My best accomplishment would have to be winning Player of the Year last year.


What do you think the team has to do in order to repeat as National Champions?

I think that we can’t become complacent. We have the number one ranking so we can’t slack and we have to keep working hard.


What is the hardest part about being a student-athlete?

Having to manage your time. It’s really easy to get behind. You have to plan everything out so that you can finish your homework while you are away at a tournament.


What do you like the most about golf?

I love how challenging it is, mentally. It draws me in to where I can’t stop. I also like how there is always something to work toward since you can’t reach perfection.


If you had one superpower, what would it be?

To be invisible because you can get a lot of good info. You can sneak into expensive sports events and not reveal your identity.


If there was a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?

I would say Katherine Heigl. I feel like she’s like me; everything always seems to go wrong.


If you had an all-expenses paid trip, where would you go?

Hawaii. I’ve been there before and thought it was beautiful. I didn’t get to see it as much as I wanted so I would love to go back.

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