Where In The World Is Giulia Molinaro?
By Amanda Adkins
Golf talent and Arizona State University student Giulia Molinaro has more stamps on her passport than most of her peers. Born in Italy and raised in Kenya where her parents own a villa, Molinaro spent her adolescent life in Africa. It was near her home in Kenya that she began to golf at a nearby course and the rest is history.
Her capabilities have allowed her to visit every continent, which is an achievement of its own and the frequent flier miles will continue to add up.
Molinaro spent this summer in Europe playing for Italy's World Amateur Team and will continue to play for them into October before spending the rest of the year at ASU. She said that there is some overlap between the two teams, but it's just a matter of organizing a schedule between the two and hoping to get as much experience as possible. Between the romantic culture of Italia and the sunbeams of Arizona, the places Molinaro goes can cause envy in any player.
It also can inspire other women to join her at Arizona State.
It is actually because of her experience with the Italian team that ASU took notice in her. She began playing for them when she was 14 and they support her many endeavors. Molinaro was recruited to ASU after she played a tournament in Paris for Italy, so now other European players will ask her about the team and the school. Her worldly views make her a good and appealing recruiter.
"The Italian team has always helped me because of the many different tournaments they have allowed me to play in such as the European tournament, European Championships and the World Amateur Championships in Australia and Argentina," Molinaro said. This exposure got her noticed, and the opportunity gave her experience. She hopes for the same support after college, she said.
Her experience will come in handy in the upcoming season as she is the sole senior on the team. She understands the stresses of college life and comforts her teammates with advice on solutions to personal situations.
"We're each individuals in golf, but I offer advice on college life to other girls on the team," Molinaro said.
Moving away from home is common in preparing for college life, and being a world traveler is no exception. Molinaro maintains contact with her parents every two days, both of whom are still working in Kenya. With her major in tourism management, she seems to be preparing to follow suit in the family business. Since she has a fondness for traveling, that will be an option but she will be focused on golf for the foreseeable future.
In the near term, she said she wants to record at least six top-10s during ASU's schedule and play exceptional golf throughout the season. Long term, her dream is to go pro and make a living from golf and would love to play more in Italy.
With her experience, leadership capability, and cultural awareness, Molinaro seems prepared to undertake post-college life with great success. According to Molinaro, traveling will always be one of her passions, and although she desires a more routine life, nothing can compare to the challenges and memories various courses around the world bring her.
Each course has different regulations and set-ups that challenge individuals to become better players. Another benefit of the various courses is the challenge that weather presents in each location.
"The weather is always different in different countries and states and this also makes me grow as a player," she said.
That growth was on display last week when Molinaro shot a six-under 210 to win the individual title at the Dale McNamara Invitational in Tulsa, Okla. She held onto the lead the entire tournament, which provided a mental challenge she had never experienced before.
"That win will encourage me and make me a more confident player," she said.
It might seem strange that a woman with such a versatile traveling background and impressive skill could face new challenges, but it just goes to show that practice makes perfect. And traveling makes it fun.