Junior Hannah Zeman plays a key role in USF women’s golf. Last season, the California native led the Dons to a fourth place finish in the West Coast Conference (WCC) standings, and she was also named to the 2021-22 Preseason WCC team this past September. Speaking on Zeman’s accomplishment, USF women’s golf head coach, Sara Doell, told Dons Athletics, “I am excited to see that she earned this honor and know that she has the potential and the passion to keep moving her game forward.”
Zeman’s journey in golf began at age seven after her father began taking golf lessons. Her high school, Ontario Christian High School, did not have a women’s golf program, so she joined the men’s golf team for her four years instead.
“Some of the guys on my team were really supportive, but when we would go play other teams [opponents] would get mad at me if I was beating them or they’d be super weird towards me, so kind of having to navigate through that and through weird comments I would say has been interesting,” Zeman said.
Zeman made strides on the team nonetheless, becoming the first female to qualify for the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State Championship, and she received seven top-10 finishes on the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA).
As an English major, she finds that a day on the green can clear her writer’s block and help her find inspiration. “As soon as I feel like I’m on the golf course, I can just forget about all the other problems and just focus on golf,” says Zeman. “I always feel like I have a lot of fun out there, like, no matter what’s going on. I feel like there’s always something to take away from my experience out there.”
In the past, coaches have encouraged Zeman to write down her emotions after her time on the course to understand her performance better. This is where she has been able to find patterns between her post-tournament feelings and her performance itself, as well as working through what her thought process was at the time of competition.
Outside of writing, Zeman has used golf to shape her day-to-day mentality. “I feel like through golf, you really have to stay in the moment because if you’re thinking about the next hole or the next shot [or] getting too ahead of yourself, it’s not going to be good, you’re probably gonna have some bad results,” she said. “That kind of transfers into my life outside of golf because I really just try to stay in the moment now, and I feel like that’s really nice to do because sometimes I get super ahead of myself so it’s nice to be like okay, let’s just stay in the moment, just enjoy it.”
This season has seen Zeman replicate her past success. She led the Dons in top individual scores at the Cour D’Alene Resort Collegiate Invitational and the Molly College Invitational, bringing a strong start to her junior year season. Up next, Zeman and the team will head to Nevada for the Clash at Boulder Creek tournament Oct. 24-Oct. 26.