Mae Cornforth’s passion for the game evidently runs in the family; with her father and mother being recreational golfers and a sister with a knack for coaching, she was destined for the green. “My dad was my best friend when I was younger and I did everything with him” she says. Naturally, when she wasn’t allowed to play golf along with her best friend, she begged to learn how.
At just 6 years old, Mae picked up her Little Tigers Golf Set and began her journey to becoming a player to keep your eye on. Years have passed since then, but Mae remained as driven as ever to see her dream of becoming a professional golfer manifest.
Since having gone pro a year ago (in 2015), she has been at the top of her game, adding title-after-title to her belt one putt at a time. Mae made her debut on the green in 2010; she was only 14 years old when she played at the SA Amateur Championship. She has gone on to win the Boland Women’s Match Play Championship and the North West Women’s Open in 2012, rank 5th SA amateur player 2014 and been no. 1 player in North West Women’s golf Union for 3 years —an impressive feat that sets her up as one strong contender.
Faced with a common challenge for ladies her age, Mae was forced to take a year off from competitive golf to focus on her studies at Florida Institute Of Technology (USA), where she had a golf Scholarship in Communication Science. Although she was number 1 in her team at FIT, with a stroke average of 73, she had to contend with maintaining a high enough Grade Point Average to be a part of the team.
She often speaks of the challenges she faced to meet the standards set by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), to be allowed to compete in tournaments. “Unfortunately I didn’t take science as a subject in high school and had to sit out my first year. It really sucked, because I have a major dream and to lose an entire year was a huge disappointment…” she says.
Undoubtedly, she had to work harder than she previously had to get back on top. She “studied like a demon” and succeeded in reaching NCAA standards; and even though she couldn’t compete for a year, she took that time to train and came back swinging, taking the Limpopo Championship in 2015. Currently, she is training with new coach Graeme Francis, and together they share a common goal of getting her ready to play in the LPGA tour, within the next 2 years.
Being a young professional golfer, Mae Cornforth can attest to the fact that practice, persistence and perseverance make perfect. She is excited to be a part of the PinkStig Invitational this year and hopes that her participation motivates other amateur golfers to never put their clubs down.