Since she arrived on the LPGA scene in 2008 hot off a successful collegiate career at the University of Florida, expectations have been high for Sandra Gal.
To date, the 29-year-old German – who you will find on just about any list of the LPGA’s most beautiful players – has performed well earning more than $2.5 million.
In 2011, Gal captured her first victory at the Kia Classic and was a member of the winning European Solheim Cup squad. She is a member of the German Olympic golf team for the 2016 Rio games.
In 2013, Gal made 20 of 25 cuts, earned more than $400,000 and had four top-10 finishes. This season, she has earned nearly $340,000 with three top-10’s in 22 events to date and sits at 37th in the Race to the CME Globe standings.
I caught up with the Gal heading into this week’s LPGA KEB-HanaBank Championship in South Korea to ask her about the season so far, her goals, her passion for the charities she supports, and the state of the LPGA.
How are you feeling about your game right now?
SG: I feel like my game is constantly getting better, even though my scores may not always reflect that. My swing is getting more consistent and I understand myself better on the golf course mentally.
Talk about your passion for painting.
SG: I started when I was about three years old. I am an only child and this was my favorite thing to do when I was on my own. I love being creative and bringing ideas to life in colorful ways.
Talk about your practice routine.
SG: Practice is important to me, but I like to do most of my practice on the course, where I can create real competition-like situations.
How would you grade yourself on the season so far?
SG: I would give myself a B- result-wise, an A- swing-wise and a B+ mentally.
What do you think about the current state of the LPGA?
SG: The LPGA is booming at the moment. It’s been on a constant rise the past few years and it’s very exciting to be a part of it. We are very lucky to have tournaments all over the world. One thing that is improving, but still needs to match up with the PGA Tour, is the prize money. I hope that one day, pay will be more equal.
How much do you think about getting that “next” win?
SG: I do think about it occasionally, but it’s really more important to stay in the process and focus on the things that I can control.
What is something very few people know about you?
SG: I am a very spiritual person and believe that all of our actions and thoughts affect everyone.
Did you always want to be a golfer?
SG: No, I didn’t. I wanted to be a designer growing up. If I weren’t playing, I would have a creative job and be involved in charities more than I am now.
Who is your favorite golfer of all time?
SG: Lorena Ochoa, because of how graceful and humble she is.
Who are some of your closest friends on Tour?
SG: Brittany Lang, Hee-Young Park, Jessica Korda, Anna Nordqvist and a few others. We have good talks together about life off the golf course and keep lightness and fun in our lives by laughing a lot.
Who is filling out your dream foursome?
SG: Ernie Els, Freddy Couples, Adam Scott.
What is still on your golf career bucket list?
SG: Winning a major.
Talk about your passion for supporting charities, particularly those aiding children.
SG: I actually like supporting different charities, many involving children, such as the First Tee Program, Boys and Girls Club or Orphan’s Heart, which is going to benefit from my own charity event in March 2015. I believe that children need our support the most. We can teach them healthy habits from a young age, spark dreams and determination and be a role model for them.