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Huarte lands ‘full-time job’ at WGC

By: Jeffrey Weidel Gold Country News Service
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Although the door to a promising professional golf career is not yet shut tight, Sarah Huarte is moving on to the next phase of her life. It’s a phase that leaves close friends chuckling at was has recently transpired. “They think it’s pretty funny that I finally have a full-time job,” laughs Huarte. Despite the career switch, the regular paycheck comes by way of her considerable golfing acumen. Instead of striving to become one of the world’s top female golfers, Huarte is passing along her knowledge of the game to anyone who seeks out her help at Woodcreek Golf Club in Roseville. Historically a golf course that puts a premium on hiring top teaching professionals, Woodcreek is excited about Huarte joining the staff for departed Susan Claycomb. A Shingle Springs native, Huarte was an All-American golfer at Cal-Berkeley, spent two years on the Futures Tour, and has played in a handful of LPGA events. “Sarah is probably one of the biggest names in our area and is going to do very well here,” Rob Frederick, Woodcreek’s head professional said. “We couldn’t have done any better as a replacement for Susan, who created a great women’s program. Sarah is a terrific player, is very friendly, and obviously understands the game and can relate that well to other golfers. She is going to add a whole new dimension at Woodcreek.” The year started with Huarte redirecting her energies toward teaching. She began a mentoring program that immediately attracted six top high school players from the Sacramento region. The program stresses the mental aspects of golf, focuses on course management, methods of practice and how to attract notice from college recruiters, something Huarte knows plenty about, since she was offered a scholarship, at Cal while playing at St. Francis High School in Sacramento. Teaching the game consumes much of her day, yet it’s not like Huarte’s golf clubs are collecting dust in the garage where she lives in Folsom. She gets out regularly with boyfriend Sean Glenn, a former pro at both Woodcreek and Diamond Oaks, who is now an assistant at Serrano Country Club in El Dorado Hills. The niece of former Notre Dame Heisman Trophy quarterback John Huarte, Sarah plays golf now for fun, but doesn’t rule out another shot at becoming a regular on the LPGA Tour. The Sponsorship money from Arizona Tile (owned by John Huarte) and KASL Engineering is available should she give it another try. “I look at it and think I could definitely see myself trying it again,” Huarte said. “It could be a year, three years, maybe even six. Right now I am ready for a change (teaching).” She was prepared for a change coming out of Cal as well, concluding her senior year in 2004 as an NCAA individual champion and a first-team All-American. That summer she reached the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship was selected to the U.S. Curtis Cup Team and made the World Amateur Team. One year later, Huarte qualified for the Futures Tour and proved she belonged; recording four Top-10 finishes in 13 tournaments. Perhaps her biggest moment in golf occurred that summer when she earned a berth in the LPGA U.S. Open and tied for 23rd, earning her largest paycheck at $34,556. In 2006, her game took another jump when Huarte enjoyed another strong showing on the Futures Tour and later earned her conditional LPGA card at Qualifying School. Despite playing in eight LPGA events in 2007 and making the cut four times, life as a golf gypsy grew unappealing. Owning a conditional LPGA card means being on call all the time. If an opening in a particular event arrived, often times the call wouldn’t come until early in the week, leaving Huarte scrambling to get a flight, showing up for perhaps one day to learn the course, then try to play well enough to stick around for the final round and depart with a paycheck. “I like to be close to my family and friends and the traveling was the hardest part for me,” Huarte said. “It got to the point where if I missed a cut, it was like, ‘OK, I get to go home.’ I got tired of the lifestyle.” Her new lifestyle is fine for now. A friendly person with a caring nature, Huarte enjoys mentoring talented young players and also takes pleasure in providing the basics to a group of beginners. “This job just fell into place,” Huarte said. “I feel lucky to be at Woodcreek, it’s a great place to learn a lot about the golf business.”