By: Joe Cardoso
Golf is a funny game it sometimes has no mercy and those who play often spend the day angry about it, but will race to go back and play again. For all those times we spent wandering the woods looking for our ball we wouldn’t change those moments for anything in the world. When you get a shot to grab a dream you have to take the leap. Our next featured athlete did just that, she saw an opportunity to fulfill a dream and with hard work, she is on her way. A player on the LPGA tour, model, Co-Host on the Golf Channel and winner of Big Break: The Dominican Republic introducing Blair O’Neal
JC: So Big Break Dominican Republic how was that experience and of course winning it. At what point did you feel it was yours for the taking?
BN: Big Break was one of the best experiences of my life. Not only did it make me a better golfer, but it opened up a lot of new opportunities. Plus, I had taken nearly 5 years off from professional golf before being asked to participate on Big Break. So if nothing else, it got me back into the game and accelerated my career into what it is now. As far as winning the show, I never thought I had it in the bag until the last putt went in. That’s how you have to approach golf, especially Big Break, where anything can happen. It’s critical to stay in the moment and enjoy every shot.
JC: When did you start to play golf?
BN: I started at age 11 which was actually pretty late for most golfers who make it to the professional level. My dad put me in a junior clinic after school, and I immediately took to the game.
JC: You have traveled so much what has been your favorite course so far and why?
BN: I’ve been fortunate enough to play some pretty amazing courses, but it’s hard to beat Pebble Beach. Those ocean side holes are golf nirvana. They help remind me why I love the game so much.
JC: Being a jack of all trades golf, modeling, fitness how do you find balance? And do yoiu prefer one over the other?
BN: It isn’t always easy, I can admit that. But I wouldn’t change it for the world because I truly love all of it. It’s funny how people try to criticize me for not focusing on just one area, but to me, that would be selling myself short. Golf, fitness, modeling, and media are all big passions of mine so why do I have to choose one over the other? They complement each other very nicely.
JC: Building your brand is important. What is the process for you choosing what companies to work with?
BN: In today’s crazy world of social media, partnering with the right companies has never been more important. Any company you associate yourself with is an immediate reflection of your own brand – whether you like it or not. This is something my team and I take very seriously. It is extremely important to find companies that align with your values, beliefs, and visions. We get approached by numerous companies, but many of them just want to use my social media outlets for one-way gains. It’s the companies that want to grow as a true partnership that I stop and listen to.
JC: Working on the Golf Channel how awesome has that been? What is the coolest thing you’ve done on the show so far?
BN: After competing on Big Break my wheels started turning about someday moving into media. Between the on-camera experience and the relationships I built with the folks at Golf Channel, I knew that television was something I wanted to do after moving on from tour life. And now that it’s come to fruition, I absolutely love it. My schedule is so great. I get to be part of the Golf Channel family, but I still get to play and compete in a handful of events each year like the American Century Championship and the Diamond Resorts Invitational.
JC: Fitness and diet play a major role in athletics what is your approach to it?
BN: My key to fitness is variety. My key to diet is consistency. I’m a believer that with fitness, you have to keep your body guessing. That why I love to do a variety of workouts, whether it be weight lifting, yoga, cycling, pilates or whatever. That’s also why I love my trainer. He keeps each workout unique and specific to my goals. With regard to diet, I believe you don’t have to eat perfectly. You just need to eat healthy most of the time. I am by no means a diet queen. I eat healthy consistently, but not religiously, and I use all-natural supplements to fill in the gaps where my diet may lack. But I still enjoy a good slice of pizza now and again.
JC: What do you think the LPGA needs to do to gain more exposure and popularity?
BN: First off, I think it has a lot of exposure and popularity. It just may be coming from a more global source than most people care to recognize. The tour has done a fantastic job of growing worldwide. It could use a female Tiger Woods to gain some attention domestically because frankly, that is what grew the men’s side so drastically. But the American girls like Lexi Thompson, Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie, Jessica Korda, Ryan O’Toole, Morgan Pressel and Stacy Lewis, don’t get enough credit for growing the game in the States.
JC: What can amateurs do to get better?
BN: Practice. Sounds obvious, but I assure you no professional golfer got to where they are by playing 18 holes a week on Saturday mornings. You have to put in the work to get the reward.
JC: As we end 2017 what is on deck for you as well as early 2018.
BN: Golf Channel continues to keep me busy with School of Golf, which airs every Tuesday evening at 7 pm EST, and Morning Drive. But I seem to always find a way to fill the gaps between filming. I’ll be competing once again in the Gary Player Invitational next month at GlenArbor, and the Diamond Resorts Invitational, live on Golf Channel, in January 2018.
JC: The Blair O’Neal ultimate golf foursome is?
BN: Grandfather, Ben Hogan, and Jimmy Fallon
JC: When not working what do you do for fun?
BN: Mostly Netflix and chill. Being on the road makes you appreciate home.
JC: The toughest part of being a female in the golf world is________
BN: Putting up with macho-egos.
JC: What do you enjoy most about modeling?
BN: It’s a chance to show off my dedication to healthy eating and hard work in the gym.
On the course or off of it you can see that Blair means business and is passionate about whatever it is she does. Working hard and staying humble is a winning formula. Follow along with her career and journey through her social media links.
And keep following Nuts And Bolts Sports for more of this exciting series. I want to thank Blair O’Neal for her time and can’t wait to see what’s next for her.