A top-tier golfer is bringing her talents back home and passing along her knowledge of the game to the next generation of talent. Last year, Emma Bradley, a Naples native, became an assistant coach on the Florida Gulf Coast University women’s golf team.
“I feel like I’ve lived 17 lives in one, and I’m 23,” said Bradley.
Bradley’s life revolves around golf, but coaching changed that. Looking ahead to the 2023 season, Bradley is going into her second season with the FGCU women’s golf team.
Bradley has a simple coaching philosophy.
“Treat every player like a pro. I want to teach them the things I’ve learned throughout my career,” said Bradley.
Some of the most significant moments in her career include holding the top junior-ranking spot in the state for six years and qualifying for four straight USGA Championship events, which includes playing in the 2017 US Women’s Open Championship.
“She knows exactly the situation you’re in. And how to play. So a lot of these girls have a lot of talent, but just being able to get them in game situations,” said Shannon Sykora, another FGCU women’s golf coach.
“She taught me to be confident in myself and in my game. To definitely just believe that I’m capable and I can do what I need to do. I can do great things,” said Anna Claire Bridge, an FGCU golfer.
When she’s not teaching the game, Bradley is continuing her education as a full-time student.
“I’m an art student so I’m in like the studio 24/7 when I’m not coaching or playing. And I can understand their struggles with homework and with tests and having to travel. You know we’re both going through the same thing,” said Bradley.
For Bradley, the most rewarding aspect of golf is watching her players flourish, which sparked her coaching interest.
“From the moment I started, I kind of felt the puzzle pieces coming together. Where I can take my passion of learning in the game and helping as well,” said Bradley.
The FGCU women’s golf team starts its season Sept. 30, at the Yale Invitational.