LPGA Tour Team Canada

Ellie Szeryk: A Positive and Confident Mindset

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(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Growing up Ellie Szeryk played a number of sports, but ultimately found her passion on the golf course. Today, with her sights set on playing golf at the highest level, the Canadian National Team member is confident she has the support and resources to reach that goal.

“Golf was something I was always around. My dad played it a lot and Maddie played a lot. So I was just born into,” said Szeryk, whose older sister Maddie Szeryk is currently in her third year on the LPGA Tour.

Szeryk – whose parents Neil and Karen relocated from London, Ont., shortly after being married – also played competitive soccer and basketball growing up.

“My mom played soccer and coached my soccer team. I played both soccer and basketball until the age of 13 but then I started to focus on golf,” said the five foot ten inch high performance athlete.

“I really enjoyed playing in golf tournaments and I remember in one small tournament I was competing against boys and I chipped in for my first eagle ever. My dad was caddying for me and I remember we were both pretty excited about that.”

She adds that some of her fondest memories growing up was through a healthy sibling rivalry with her older sister.

“My dad would go out with us when we were quite young and he would say ‘whoever won this competition could pick what we had for lunch’ and Maddie and I would get so competitive about it. Some of my fondest childhood memories were from playing golf with Maddie,”

She reminisced.

“I got to see Maddie go through high school and university and now playing professionally and seeing her overcome all these challenges.  She’s always been my biggest inspiration,” added the amateur squad member.

Similar to her older sister, she is dedicated to reaching her full potential on the golf course.

“I learned that if you want to get to the next level you have to put in more work than anyone else. Thankfully Maddie and I come from a really hardworking family.  My mentality has always been that I’m going to work as hard as my mom and dad do, but put in that work on the golf course,” she said.

The hard work started to pay off for Szeryk in 2017 when the then 15-year-old won the Ontario Junior Girls’ title and the following year she won the Ontario Women’s Amateur championship.

Szeryk would go on to attend Texas A&M university and in 2022 transferred to Southern Methodist University.

She has struggled a bit with her consistency while playing collegiate golf but managed to win her maiden NCAA tournament last year. In October of 2023, Szeryk won the Jim West Challenge by going 16 under for the tournament, winning by one stroke.

“It was my first win since winning the Ontario Amateur so it was a bit emotional. I cried, my family cried,” said the SMU senior. “It was a good feeling knowing I could handle the pressure and be able to pull it off to win by one stroke.”

Szeryk says the recent win has given her a bit more confidence; and in a sport like golf where a lot of it is played between the ears, that confidence goes a long way.

“People say golf is 75 percent mental but I think it’s even more than that.  It’s something I’ve been working on – just in terms of being aware of my tendencies, acknowledging my fears and learning to let them go. I feel I’m more in control mentally now,” she said.

“Being in the right mental state and having that self-confidence is so important to finding success on the golf course.”

The talented amateur golfer says being part of the National Team Program also gives her confidence that she’s on the right track.

“Being part of the National Team Program has given me the opportunity to play in so many big tournaments that I would not have a chance to play in otherwise.  Golf Canada is really supportive of their athletes and doing everything they can to get to them that next level,” she said.

Szeryk has had the chance to experience what the next level is like as she competed in a few LPGA tournaments already including the 2018 and 2023 CPKC Women’s Open and also the Ascendant LPGA tournament in October of 2023.

“The experience playing in LPGA tournaments.was so cool.  Overall, it was just a massive learning experience,” she said.

“You get to see these players are human and they also hit bad shots but they are just good at cleaning a few things up. It just gave me reassurance that I don’t need to be perfect and gave me a first-hand look at what I want to do next in my golf journey.”

According to Maddie Szeryk, being on Golf Canada’s National Team Program provides it’s athletes with the necessary resources and support to reach their full potential on the golf course.

“During my time with the National Team Program, I got to play in high level events and had a chance to test my game against the best amateurs in the world. I also got to play in a number of LPGA events,” said the third year LPGA pro. “The coaching and support has played a big role in getting me to where I am. Golf Canada has been awesome in support of my journey.”

The younger Szeryk sibling will graduate from SMU this spring and with the support of Golf Canada’s National Team Program, she is eager to follow in her sister’s footsteps and play the sport at the highest level.

“I would love to be able to compete in the Olympics and also play on the LPGA Tour one day but right now I’m just working on the process to get there; and I’m grateful to have Golf Canada supporting me on this journey,” she said.

“I think it’s good to have really big goals because it pushes you to work hard to achieve them.”