The game of golf has taken Columbus’ Angela Jerman Ormsby from Hardaway High School to the University of Georgia and then all around the world. On Saturday, it will take her to the Chattahoochee Valley Sports Hall of Fame.
“I grew up in Columbus and started my golf career in Columbus, so to have my career ultimately capped off this way is full circle,” Ormsby said. “Columbus has always been so ridiculously supportive of my golf career and everything I’ve ever wanted to do. I’m flattered, and I don’t even think I have the words to express how grateful I feel.”
Ormsby’s path to this point had an unusual beginning. When she was 11 years old, she broke her shoulder, and a doctor recommended either golf or tennis as physical rehab. Ormsby opted for golf, which led her to regular rounds at what’s now Godwin Creek Golf Course in Columbus.
Ormsby quickly fell in love with the game and made it a habit to hit the course every Saturday. She would play the course’s tournaments and take on male opponents, and although it didn’t end in her favor often, it made her better in the long run.
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“It taught me to be persistent and to never give up,” Ormsby said. “I loved playing with all the boys. They made me stronger and more resilient as I kept getting older. It was so much fun.”
By her eighth-grade year, Ormsby had given up her other sports to concentrate on golf. After reading a Sports Illustrated article on former professional golfer Heather Farr, Ormsby decided her ultimate goal was to play on the LPGA Tour.
To get there, Ormsby’s coach John Godwin advised his young golfer to take her progression patiently, only moving up once she had proven herself.
Thanks to Ormsby’s play, that didn’t take too long.
“It was very much a day-by-day or year-by-year situation,” Ormsby said. “Soon enough, in my sophomore year of high school I started playing national tournaments. After that, I’m competing and actually playing really well. It kind of just kept going.”
Ormsby parlayed her amateur success into a spot on the women’s golf team at Georgia. She was named South Region Freshman of the Year in 1999, an NCAA All-American in 1999 and 2001 and SEC Golfer of the Year in 2002. Ormsby was also a member of the 2001 Georgia team that took home the national title.
“I was lucky enough to be part of a team that won two SEC championships, a national championship and countless tournaments. I think one time I added it up, and in the four years I played, we won over 15 team titles,” Ormsby said. “It’s insane to look back on.”
Ormsby achieved her goal of playing on the LPGA Tour after graduating from Georgia in 2002. She stayed on the Tour for seven years, playing in 10 LPGA majors during that time. Her best finish among those events was an 11th at the McDonald’s LPGA Championship.
As her career on tour started winding down, Ormsby turned her attention to coaching. She applied to be an assistant at schools like Georgia and Auburn but to no avail.
Ormsby remembers praying, “‘Alright, God, if you don’t want me to be a coach, don’t open any doors.’” She then became an assistant pro at Sequoia Golf in Peachtree City.
Ormsby met her husband Todd during her time as an assistant pro, and before too long a door into coaching swung wide open. Point University women’s golf coach Haley Wilson, a friend of Ormsby’s, had taken the same position at Samford. Wilson told Ormsby and asked if she was interested in going to Point.
On September 14, 2015, Ormsby was hired as the Lady Skyhawks’ new head coach.
“I get to work with girls that can shoot anywhere from 60s all the way to 130,” Ormsby said. “I have this huge gambit of athletes that I get to work with. I’m able to give back all this knowledge I’ve obtained through all these different areas of golf I’ve experienced. It’s probably the most gratifying job in the world.”
Ormsby’s foray into golf began in Columbus and continues just up the road in West Point. Saturday’s trip back home will be one to remember, as Ormsby’s selection is something she doesn’t take lightly.
“To be remembered, I’m just grateful and so thankful to the committee for just giving me this honor,” Ormsby said. “I promise I’ll keep representing Columbus and the Valley area with the utmost regard. I love Columbus. It’s my home, and it will always be my home.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports