Nicole Garcia

27 Mar 2024

Nicole Garcia - playing the long game

Now ranked 27th in Europe, Nicole performed well last year despite a new injury frustrating her ambitions. This year she's prepared to make some small adjustments, even if it impacts her game in the short-term. 

Current ranking

27th on Ladies European Tour
 

Social media of choice

Instagram 

Top goal for 2023

Quality over quantity.
Finish top three on Sunshine Ladies Tour

What is your biggest golfing achievement to date?
My highlight would be winning both the Aramco team events in London and Saudi Arabia with a 6th and 3rd place in the individual challenge for the same events. I captained both teams and so far I’m the only captain to have two wins. I also qualified for the women’s US Open in Pine Needles. 

What did 2023 teach you?
To be patient and grind it out even when you’re not at your best. There are many ways to get the ball in the hole and make a score. Be creative. 

What are your goals for 2024?
I’d like improve my ranking on the Ladies European Tour as well as my world ranking. I have small things to adjust but unfortunately, this could make me go backwards for a few months. But I’m prepared to do what it takes to get better. 

What advice would you give aspiring young golfers?
It's not easy and many people will tell you that you can't do it. I had that experience more than once with strangers as well as friends. But if you work smart and have a good work ethic, it is very possible. And PLAY PLAY PLAY. Don't stand on the range for hours. Get out there and play.

 

Nicole Garcia
Nicole Garcia, Investec sponsored golfer

At the end of the day, it’s just a game of golf, it doesn’t define who you are. So I try to smile as much as I can out there, hopefully inspiring others to do the same.

How did your upbringing affect who you are now?
I had a very privileged upbringing, I went to a private school and stayed in a nice area. However, my parents always taught us that if we wanted something we had to work for it. But it wasn't until much later In my rookie year on tour when I had to pay for my golf, and then I realised how fortunate I had been growing up. I am only where I am today because of my parents.


How old were you when you started playing golf and what drew you to the sport?
I was 16 years old when I started playing golf (2006). I had been playing competitive squash for most of my junior years and my squash club where I trained was on a golf course. So my mom booked us some lessons and after the first lesson, I wasn't very interested. But for some reason, I went back for another lesson and the rest is history.


How has your golf career progressed?
In 2013, after my last TUKS exams, I entered the qualifying stages in Europe and ended up getting status on the Ladies European Tour (LET) for the 2014 season. I learned a lot that year and after losing my status in 2014 I went back to the qualifying stages at the end of the year and won the first stage by 13 shots and came 5th in the final stage on a score of -9. Since then I have kept my playing rights in Europe.

Best book you’ve ever read

A throne of glass by Sarah J Mass

If not golf how would you make a living?

I would have studied animation and gone to work at Disney or Pixar.

What’s you favourite motto or quote?

"Everyday is a school day."

What do you believe can be achieved in the South African women’s golfing fraternity through Investec’s sponsorship of the South African Women’s Open?
The Investec South African Women’s Open has set a platform for bigger and better things in SA women’s golf. I believe it is the start of helping the next generation of talented golfers come through. We just needed one sponsor to step up to the plate and support women’s golf in order to pave the way for more companies to see the benefits of women’s golf in SA.

If you could play the last round of your life with anyone you choose who would it be and why?
Probably my husband Grant Veenstra. We’ve been on this journey together for the last seven years and with the exception of a couple of others, he has been instrumental in shaping my game and to have my last play with him, would be a privilege.

How do you keep a healthy balance between your personal life and your career?
This part is very difficult, and I get this question a lot. I am lucky that my husband is in the same industry and understands what needs to be done to be successful. If I didn't have him I don't think it would be easy to find someone who could handle what the job requires.

How do you stay calm when the stakes are high?
I'm still learning how to do this but I’ve become more comfortable with the idea that I belong competing against the best and I think this helps a lot.  

 

What’s the one improvement or change that you would like to make to the game of golf?
I believe, for the future of golf, the game should be brought down to 12 holes and not 18.

The game is becoming too slow and many people are losing interest, in not only watching golf, but also playing it.

How do you get over a bad shot?
Everyone has their own way. For some reason verbalizing to my caddy what I’ve done wrong in my swing to cause that shot and then taking a practice swing with the correct move puts my mind at ease that I won't do it again and then I can focus on the next shot. Small routines help to take the focus away from what just happened and onto the next shot.