Michaela Hawkins '25 Wins an Individual National Title in Women's Golf

Keyanna Metts '25 is a sophomore studying Psychology at Johnson & Wales. She is a student assistant for University Marketing and interviewed fellow Wildcat Michaela Hawkins about her experience on and off the green.

Michaela Hawkins ’25 studies Psychology and plays on the women’s golf team at JWU Charlotte. Recently, the men’s golf team won a national title at USCAA National Golf Championships. Then, Michaela won an individual national title for women! Here’s Michaela’s take on this amazing experience, what it’s like to be a student-athlete, and what it’s like to play and learn at Johnson & Wales.

Charlotte golf team holding awards

How did it feel when you learned of the men's golf team results? And how did it feel when you received an individual national title?

MH: It was an unreal experience! Coming into the second round, we all knew the boys' team was in the lead and I was as well. When we finished, we all were, I guess in shock, not really knowing what to do. We were all so excited for each other! During the last few holes of the tournament, I could feel the tension between the girls I was playing with, considering I was only in the lead by 1 going into day two.

What are some things that helped you achieve this amazing goal?

MH: A lot of on-my-own practice, going to the net we have behind our Wildcat Center. And praying during my rounds, not joking.

What challenges have you faced in your journey to this achievement?

MH: I have honestly faced more mental blocks than anything. My first two tournaments I would get in my head on the first day and do horrible. I told myself going into the first day of nationals that I cannot get in my head and just breathe.

Collage of golf team and Michaela with award

What is it like being a student-athlete?

MH: I just wanted to play golf, and the coach at the time reached out. Without JWU, I wouldn’t be playing in college. Walking on campus, you know who's an athlete and who's not just because it's a small campus. It's very fun.

What is it like to play golf at the college level? And what advice would you give to aspiring student-athletes, particularly women?

MH: It's amazing. It's anything I could ask for. You get to travel and play these golf courses that not everyone gets to play. If you're a woman wanting to play at the college level, don't hold back from reaching out to coaches. So many girls' scholarships go unused and the worst thing they can say is no.

How do you balance playing golf while attending college?

MH: It's a challenge, I will have to say. Letting your teachers know that you are a student-athlete and won't be able to attend some classes due to tournaments or games. Also working ahead and doing homework before you leave for games and tournaments also helps.

Any additional thoughts about your experience at JWU or on the team?

MH: I am just so happy my team and I were able to bring a national title to JWU! 

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