Like many golf pros, Rawson came to play in the U.S. from Australia. But, what sets her apart is that she came to play for college. In comparing the Aussie and USC golf scene she said, “The competition is much better over here and it’s your job. Playing in The States is more intense.”
Being a student athlete is never easy, but Anna Rawson has never been afraid of a challenge. Not only did she fulfil all the requirements for her Communication major, she added a minor in Visual Arts and Graphics to her course load. Still, with all the stress of balancing a full schedule and golfing, Rawson still found enough time to have a blast as any Trojan should. “It’s the hardest job,” said Rawson with a sigh. “ I slept like four hours a night. Golf is a full time, all year sport. From 6 - 8 a.m. we’d workout, 8- 12 was class, and 12-5 was practice. Then, I was a college student, I’d go out!” She shared with PLAYER Magazine that the best nights on the town consisted of “a great dinner with friends, a lot of wine, and then going to a club and just dancing all night.”
By now you‘re probably wondering exactly how Rawson got hooked on this pastime sport in the first place. After all, ask most college-age kids what sports they enjoy playing and most will answer football or basketball. When SNMag got curious, we had her explain to us how she got her start: “My whole family played golf. There was a club down the street.” We probed a little further and she admitted, “My brother and his hot friends would come home and talk to me about it. So, I guess I got into it for the hot guys and to hang out with my brother’s friends.” Saying that, although truly busy on the course during the season with a trainer, she’ll get the chance to play with family and friends in the off-season, “but sometimes I end up giving more lessons and searching for [more] lost balls than I’d like.”
After playing for the last ten years, there is one distinct memory that Rawson swears she’ll never forget. “I remember vividly when we won the National Championship – like it was yesterday. It was so cool.” In case you haven’t already heard, the USC Women’s Golf Team won national champion status in 2003 - the first time ever for their program. What makes the victory even more gratifying is that Rawson has been waiting for this moment since she began swinging a club; this was the championship/tournament that she had her sights set on from the beginning. “The college national championship was really it,” she said. At that time, Rawson was a junior, finishing 11th individually having birdied the 13th and 14th holes, undoubtedly using her favorite golf club. “I love my 7 iron, and I love my wedges. When I think I’m going to birdie, I’ll take out my wedges,” which she explained were specially TaylorMade for her, they boost her confidence.But, as the saying goes, there’s no rest for the weary; Rawson has already set her sights on bigger and better things: “Now it’s the majors and the LPGA.”
While Rawson’s talent is more than plenty to merit media attention, it doesn’t hurt that she’s also, well, gorgeous. Rawson has been likened to Anna Kournikova, whom she admires as her favorite female athlete. She even told SNMag that “it’s nice to be seen as a sex symbol like the way she’s seen, but I’d like to have a longer career than Anna [Kournikova].” Although she did share what she’s learned from Kournikova, “I hope to handle myself better with the media than Anna, you know get [public] speaking and press conference help. I think college helped make me less like Anna, with better social skills.” She disclosed to PLAYER magazine that she not only wants to be a better golfer, but continue modeling, try TV Presenting and design her own golf line.
However, Kournikova isn’t her biggest sports hero. She corrected us and disclosed that her all-time athletic role model was actually Greg Norman, a famous golfer from Australia. She went on to say that she admired him because “I love what he’s done on and off the course and how he’s done it with class and integrity.”
Since her graduation from ‘SC, Rawson has kept busy. “I’m modeling now and trying to combine the two,” she said. “I’m in a fashion show next week with an Australian designer and have been on the cover of golf magazines.” For now, she’s decided to set up camp at her new place in Beverly Hills. Right near Hill Crest Golf Course, the location lets Rawson devote more time to her golf game, something she hasn’t done 100 percent since she began at age 13, due to other commitments [such as school].
But, she’s not giving up on her golf, she spent the better part of the fall training and competing in Q School, a qualifying tournament for the Ladies Professional Golf Association [LPGA]. Rawson shared what a great experience she had, “I didn’t quite expect to be there and I started training late. It was absolutely nerve wracking with a lot of weight on my shoulders.” We got to chatting about competing under such high pressures when Rawson shared what her mindset was going into the tournament, “I changed my putting two weeks before and hadn’t practiced under pressure,” she said. “And, it all collapsed under the pressure. I was devastated. My long hits were great but my putting fell apart. I know it was a risk changing the putting last minute and it killed me in the second round.”
Although she did not qualify to join the LPGA this year, she’s still on track for her goal. “This year I’m playing in at least six events and one European tour event, plus some Japan tour events,” she said. For now, she’s playing full-time in The Futures Tour, which has been nicknamed the “official developmental tour of the LPGA” and is a key step in “graduating” players to the LPGA, a track Rawson plans on taking. So, keep your eyes pealed on ESPN for this sexy golf star that’s sure to make her mark in the LPGA.
Check out her website: www.annarawson.net