Women's Golf Q&A: Annika Clark

March 30, 2016

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Freshman Annika Clark from Highlands, Texas, is the latest member of the TCU women's golf team to visit with GoFrogs.com.

Q: A popular tradition is every member of the TCU women's golf team receiving a nickname from head coach Angie Ravaioli-Larkin. What's your nickname and how did you get it?
A: Shark. She said I have a big smile like a shark, and then I swim around like a shark and bite down on my competition. Also, my last name is misspelled on my golf bag. There's a capital "I" instead of the "L" so it says, "CIARK." Emmy Martin said, "Ciark, like shark" and then Coach came up with "Shark."

Q: What does head coach Angie Ravaioli-Larkin mean to you?
A: I think she's awesome. She's like a second mom. You can never count her out. She cares for each and every one of us so much. She's always there for us, whether it is through golf, school or just to talk to her about anything. She's a great listener and always gives her honest opinion. I think we're really lucky to have someone coach us that not only cares about our golf score, but actually cares about how we're doing as people and with school. I think it's really cool to have that.

Q: What's the best piece of advice she has given you?
A: She's really big on the mental aspect of the game. We've worked a lot on visualization and staying in the present, which has helped a lot.

Q: What's your favorite team tradition?
A: I really like doing the birdie flaps. In the past couple of tournaments we've also incorporated par pumps, a term I actually just made up right now. No matter what, we wave after every hole to keep the energy up. We also wanted a way to tell the other person we made a par, so we decided to wave and then pump it to indicate you made par. If you eagle, you soar around the green. If you're finished, you just wave.

Q: How does it feel to have three other freshmen on the team with you?
A: I think it's helped a lot because we've all been able to go through our freshman year of college academically together and then athletically. We help each other on morning workouts and staying on top of schoolwork. I think it's been very helpful and we've been really fortunate.

Q: What has been your favorite moment on the course?
A: Because I went to a small private school, I didn't play team golf before I came here. The first tournament in Kansas was really cool -- being on a team, having people playing in front of you and behind you that want you to do well. On the last day of our tournament in Arizona, I finished right before Brooke (Graebe). Coach and I were on the green for her last hole. She didn't know where she stood in the field, but Coach told me she had to make this putt to either tie or win. She made it, so Coach and I freaked out but Brooke had no idea what was happening. It was cool to see her do really well.

Q: What's your favorite part about TCU?
A: I really like the atmosphere. I think all the people here are really nice, and it's small and close-knit. I grew up in a small private school and now on a bigger scale at a University, it has that same feel. It's very personable.

Q: What made you choose TCU?
A: Throughout the recruiting process, I was visiting schools and talking to people. I played in an AJGA golf tournament and Coach was there to watch. I finished on a Sunday, so I came to campus on a Tuesday. Coach Lori (Roditi) was the assistant at the time. She gave us a tour of the school and then told me to keep in touch. A year later, they watched me play at the same tournament. I then came for another visit. I was here for probably four hours and they offered me a spot on the team. It took me two weeks to go back, talk to my mom and think it all through, and then I committed! It was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders.

Q: What's your major?
A: Broadcast Journalism. After my four years of school, I want to pursue a professional golf career. If that doesn't work out or when it's over, I want to fall into the media aspect of golf, or sports in general. I enjoy talking to people!

Q: What's your favorite part of TCU's campus?
A: The Commons. It's always really pretty. No matter if it's a gloomy day outside, you can always look out there and remember how blessed we are to be here because it's so pretty.

Q: Who is your inspiration?
A: My dad. I've always looked up to him. He's a really hard worker. He has told me to persevere and to do my best in everything. He tells me to never let anyone outwork me.

Q: Who would you want to take a golf lesson from?
A: Probably Annika Sörenstam. I played in the Annika Invitational and she gave us a clinic. It was really cool to listen to her talk and how her mind worked when she was No. 1 in the world. It would be cool to see what she had to say about my game.

Q: Who would be in your ideal foursome?
A: Jordan Spieth, Annika Sörenstam, and Brooke Graebe.

Q: What international course would you want to play on?
A: The Old Course at St. Andrews because of all the history that's there. To get to play there would be a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Q: Where can we find you when you're not studying or on the course?
A: With Brooke, probably eating. Pretty much all we do is golf, go to study hall and eat.



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