From accomplishing an LPGA victory at the Evian Masters in 2007, to posing for the Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2012 and becoming a FOX Sports reporter in 2015, Natalie Gulbis has made her mark as a successful professional golfer. Currently, she is a part of the LPGA golf tournament which will take place in Phoenix this March. AZFoothills.com had the pleasure of interviewing Natalie Gulbis and learning about her past accomplishments, her present goals and her future aspirations.
She grew up in Sacramento, Calif., where she began playing golf with her father when she was just 5 years old. Growing up she had two golf idols: Nancy Lopez and Joe Montana. Gulbis idolized Lopez because “not only was she a great player but she also had this happy positive essence to her with an incredible personality.” At age 11, she discovered her true passion for golf when she had to choose between playing golf or gymnastics. Her love for the sport took her through to college where she played for the University of Arizona. From there, her career as a professional golfer took off and at age 18 she went pro and began working with golf instructor Butch Harmon.
When reflecting on her career, thus far she believes the highlight of her career has been being a part of her own Natalie Gulbis Boys and Girls Club in Las Vegas. Some of her most memorable destinations which she has traveled to play golf include “Hawaii, France and the Bahamas” with the Pebble Beach golf course in Carmel, Calif., being her favorite course. Gulbis also loves her career with FOX working as a sports reporter. She explains that reporting gives her another perspective on the sport. “I can be around the game in just a different capacity and really see the game evolve through the fans eyes and get to showcase the resorts that we are at or the golf events that we are at and the tournaments that I am recording.”
In order to prepare for golf tournaments, she exercises six hours a day in addition to training for 90 minutes in the morning. While training, she does a variety of exercises including yoga, running and paddle boarding. Her message to aspiring golf players is to have “dedicated practice. I’ve been exercising for about six hours a day and I’ve been doing it for my whole life. I am committed to my practice.” Her future prospect is to continue to win again.
Coming to the Valley of the Sun is exciting for her as she likes to take part in several activities. “I like to hike, go to Downtown Scottsdale, shopping, there are so many incredible restaurants. I love going there.” You can watch her perform in person when she plays in Phoenix at the 2017 Bank of Hope Founders Cup from March 14 until March 19.
The tournament will be held at the JW Marriot Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. There are a variety of tickets options to choose from including a single day general admission ticket or a weekly general admission ticket. In addition, there are tickets available for access to the hospitality venues throughout the course including the Pioneer Pavilion, the 18th Villa and the Founders Club. Valet and public parking passes are also available. Purchase tickets online soon, as ticket prices will increase at the gate.