Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Olivia Mehaffey on a roll coming into her ASU golf career

The Irish born native is currently listed as the 5th best golfer in the World Amateur Golf Rankings

Olivia Mehaffey is pictured practicing her swing. 

Olivia Mehaffey is pictured practicing her swing. 

Before she even came to ASU, Olivia Mehaffey was dominating the golf world.

In the past five months, Mehaffey won the Irish Women's Open Championship, Welsh Ladies Open Stroke Play Championship and also contributed to the Curtis Cup title for team Great Britain and Ireland in 2016. 

"I want to go pro on the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association)," Mehaffey said. "I want to become the best player in the world. I want to win majors and become the best. For me, I like to put in the time, and I'm wiling to put in the time."

A fun-loving but ultra-aggressive sibling rivalry between Mehaffey and her older brother Luke sparked a burning desire for golf, which shaped her into the person she is today.

"I was so competitive with my brother until we were like 11, 12," Mehaffey said. "We were at like the same level. We always tried to beat each other."

Mehaffey is from Belfast, Ireland, where she learned how to play golf on her village's course, Tandragee Golf Club, while also occasionally making the 30-minute drive to the historic Royal Country Down Golf Club.

"I really started to love golf and I just fell in love with the game," Mehaffey said. "When I was like 9 or 10 I started to practice quite a lot. I just loved it. I was like 'Dad, can we go golf?'"

Mehaffey began her competitive career when she was 10 years old by competing in junior golf events at Tandragee, winning a handful of tournaments. This is where her work ethic stemmed from. 

"Olivia has a really professional approach to her game," Donal Scott, Mehaffey's Ireland National and personal short game coach, said. "She has surrounded herself with a great team to help and support her. Her processes and structure in her training are of the highest level and while we are always trying to improve and work on this she never lacks in her effort to train and play to the best of her ability at that given moment in time."

Hard work is something Mehaffey takes pride in, and that is exactly what's needed for someone who had the responsibility of playing for her nation at the young age of 13, while also having the life-long intent to play for ASU women's golf program.

"I talked about ASU for years before I came here," Mehaffey said. "It's everything I want in a school. I mean the facilities, the weather, like everything was just so perfect for me."

Mehaffey was so talented coming out of Banbridge High School, she spoke to over 30 universities who wanted her golf talents to represent them. Her mind was made up though — it was always ASU. 

"ASU really stood out for me, so it was a pretty easy choice," Mehaffey said.

Deciding this significant career move seemed like an easy adjustment for Mehaffey, but some adjustments she has faced are a bit more difficult. 

"I had to adapt to the weather first, I thought it was really hot," Mehaffey said jokingly about playing in Arizona.

However, coming from across the pond in Ireland and now being a full-time resident in Tempe, not only is the change in climate very substantial, but the geography is as well.

"The most difficult thing is for Olivia to learn to adjust to American golf courses," ASU head coach Missy Farr-Kaye said. "We play many different style courses and grasses and green speeds. I know the more she plays, the better she will learn to adapt quickly."

Mehaffey, who turns 19 on Sunday, currently holds the ranking as the fifth best Amateur golfer in the world — a ranking that speaks for itself with the amount of golf exposure she has.

"She brings a lot of good and positive stuff to a team," Linnea Strom, fellow ASU teammate and Swedish International competitor, said. "She knows what she wants, she knows what she's here for. She is very competitive but in a good way."

The future for Mehaffey is filled with endless opportunities in the golf sphere. 

She is not only a very determined and goal driven individual, but is filled with a level of confidence to be one of the greatest to ever play this game when she stows away the clubs a long time from now according to Farr-Kaye.

"Olivia has a very bright future and I know I will be watching her on the LPGA Tour someday living out her dreams."

Reach the reporter at or follow @Tyler_Handlan on Twitter.

Like State Press Sports on Facebook and follow @statepresssport on Twitter.

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Subscribe to Pressing Matters



This website uses cookies to make your experience better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.