Dressed in a golden yellow polo shirt, crisp Khakis, a Cal Poly cap and white golf cleats, Jessica Huss looks like the typical golfer. However, despite this appearance, Huss has proved herself to be an exceptional golfer (with a round average of 82.3 for this year) with humility and character.
Huss began golfing eight years ago when she was first introduced to the sport by her grandfather. Since then, she has been golfing competitively, first through the Junior Golf Association of Northern California, which she joined her freshman year of high school, and now through Cal Poly.
Originally from Atascadero, Huss receives some benefits over her fellow golfers – for obvious reasons. “I have somewhat of an advantage because I have local support. I’ve grown up on the greens with these people,” she said.
Huss’ father, Mark, played water polo competitively in college and helps her with the mental aspect of competing.
Huss, who is a junior nutrition major, hasn’t found balancing golf and school to be that much of a challenge, as long as good time-management is involved.
“It tests your character quite a bit. It shows what you’re passionate about. If that means sacrificing going out one night, that’s fine with me. It just depends on your goals,” she said.
However, Huss said that she has not been performing at the level she is capable over the past year. She burned out with competing, she said, and consequently didn’t practice. Recently, this has changed.
“In the last few months, I either need to like it or do something about it. I realized that I’ve been a little unappreciative of what I’ve been offered,” she said. “I’ve been blessed with this opportunity to compete and travel. I’ve fallen in love with golf again.”
Although she will undoubtedly continue to golf for the rest of her life, Huss realizes her college career is coming to an end.
“It hit me a couple of months ago that I only have a year and a half left – for women, competition really dwindles after college,” Huss said. “There really aren’t as many competitions and competitive players.”
She cites the fact that golf really is not that popular among women as the source for this drop-off. “The majority of junior golfers are boys, and for some reason, they stick it out. Girls in general are not as good as guys and they just don’t stay with the sport,” she explained.
But, for the time being, Huss still has about a month and a half left of competition. The last invitational before regional and national competition will be held April 10-11 and is being hosted by CSU Northridge. And her hopes are high for both herself and the women’s golf team.
“We’ll do well if we can pull everything and everyone’s scores together,” she said. “We’re all pretty good players, so if we could do really well at one competition, we could do really well overall as a team. We have tons of potential.”