ESCONDIDO — Haley Moore’s earliest tournament memories include skipping down the course while other golfers played the game. These days, she is doing more than just celebrating the game of golf.
The 21-year-old’s talent has led her all the way to the Ladies Professional Golf Association where she’s currently playing her rookie year.
The Escondido native said her love for golf began at the age of 5.
“I got into golfing through my family. I started touching a club and swinging when I was 5,” Haley Moore said. “My brother is two years older than me and plays golf as well. I went to the range with one day with him and my grandpa and they helped me hold the club and get a swing going.”
A year later, at the age of 6, she played in her first tournament where a moment when she skipped down the golf course was captured by a local news station, she said.
Haley Moore, who also dabbled in soccer and softball, continued her passion for golf at San Pasqual High School.
“I chose golf over these other sports because I fell in love more with this sport,” Haley Moore said. “I was committed to being a good golfer and taking the time to practice every day, and one day being able to be a top junior golfer and college golfer and eventually, being a professional golfer.”
Haley Moore’s commitment stayed true. She went to the University of Arizona where she led the team to the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship last year. After graduating with a degree in general studies in just three years, she got her big break when she scored big in August by competing in the qualifying school for the LPGA.
“When I hit my second shot onto the green on my last hole of the final stage of Q-School I was safely on the green and had a good chance to make birdie,” Haley Moore said. “I knew I was clearly inside the top 45 and was going to get my LPGA card. It did not sink in until a couple of days after when I was getting calls for interviews and texts from all my family and friends and close fans congratulating me.”
Today, Haley Moore is relying on the public support to carry her through her rookie year of the LPGA. She recently launched a GoFundMe campaign to pay for tournament expenses and is hoping the public will help her raise $60,000 for the year.
“As a rookie it is hard at first with the expenses as you have to earn money and then save some of it for the future tournaments you want to play in,” Haley Moore said. “Any dollar amount will be extremely helpful and even if you cannot donate money, helpful things such as hotel points or airline miles greatly help also to save the costs on those.”
For now, Haley Moore is competing with the support of her biggest fans such as her mother, Michele Moore.
Michele Moore, who is actively involved in her career, has been on the road with her daughter from the beginning.
“It was very rewarding to see that all of her hard work paid off when she was awarded her LPGA card,” Michele Moore said. “We all had tears of joy after we got into the car and headed back to the house that we were staying at. I knew that her life would be changing overnight, but at the same time, she knows she still needs to work hard each and every day because in order to keep her status, she would need to make cuts and do well in her rookie season. The hard work and grind never stops.”
As Haley Moore continues living her dreams alongside top golfers from around the world, she hopes her story will inspire others, particularly the next generation of golfers.
“I hope that by telling them my story that will inspire them to not let bullying or whatever hardships they might be going through get in their way of achieving their dreams,” Haley Moore said.
For more information about Haley Moore or to donate to her GoFundMe campaign, go to gofundme.com/f/haley039s-path-to-lpga.
Hoa Quach has 15 years of experience in journalism, garnering multiple awards ranging from investigative reporting to feature writing. She’s been named a “Woman Who Means Business” by the San Diego Business Journal, featured in BuzzFeed during International Women’s Day and recognized by the California Legislature for her work. You can reach her at email@example.com.