IT wasn’t hard to figure out what Vikki Wrigley (nee Tutt) was going to do with her life.
Vikki is hewn from golfing stock, her father Peter Tutt was the golf professional at Newcastle’s Waratah Golf Club, her brother Trevor was a trainee professional so it was inevitable she would pursue a golf career.
“In my family, you had to talk golf or there was nothing to talk about at the dinner table and I do like to talk,” Vikki joked.
She did follow in her father’s and brother’s footsteps, but not before completing a four-year stint at Georgia State University in the US where she graduated with a bachelor of exercise sports science degree.
In 2002, she started her PGA professional traineeship at Maitland Golf Club and later married Trent Wrigley, who also went through the trainee professional system.
Prior to joining the play-for-pay ranks, the former top NSW amateur represented her state, winning, among other things, the NSW mixed championship with her brother Trevor.
Today, the 36-year-old is mother to toddler Max (2½) and works as the head professional at Maitland Golf Club, which is 30kms outside Newcastle’s CBD.
Vikki has survived the unpredictability of professional golf. In fact, she is her family’s sole survivor in the game, after her father, brother and husband left to pursue other interests.
“Dad (Peter) has retired to become a grey nomad, my brother Trevor is out of the industry and my husband (Trent) resigned his PGA membership,” she said.
Still, it’s almost a given the main topic of conversation around the dinner table is golf.
When it comes to teaching golf, Vikki, who spends around 20 hours a week teaching golf, says she likes to keep lessons simple.
“I don’t try and overcomplicate things,” she said. “I keep it fairly simple.
“It’s about using the basics and working from there to suit what a person needs.”
When it comes to assessing amateur golfers, Vikki says amateurs spend too much time working on their long game.
“They need to spend more time on their short game because 60 to 70 per cent of the game inside is 100 metres,” she said.
In a forthright interview, Vikki revealed an appealing sense of humour as she talks about herself, her goals and her zest for life.
But mostly she talks about the two most important things in his life – her family and golf.
When I was a child I wanted to be … a lawyer.
You wouldn’t know it, but I am very good at … talking, well, people who know me know that.
You may not know it, but I am no good at … cooking.
What I see when I look in the mirror is … a mother.
My favourite piece of clothing is … jeans.
I drive a … Mitsubishi Outlander.
People describe me as … loud.
My favourite golf course is … Hamilton Island and Eagles Landing in the US.
My worst habit is … nagging my husband for not putting the towels back on the rails.
What I fear most is … something happening to my son.
The person who really makes me laugh is … my son.
My five-year plan is … to continue developing golf in the area and maybe have another child.
My greatest wish is … that everyone gets along in the world.
If there’s one thing I know it’s … golf is a game of love and heartache.
My guiltiest pleasure is … my mother-in-law’s trifle.
The hardest thing I’ve ever done was … leaving home for four years to study and play golf in America.
At home I cook … simple meals like steak and vegetables. I am a daughter-in-law of a butcher so I cook all the meats.
One topic I avoid talking about is … politics.
I wish I had … a house cleaner.
I wish I hadn’t … got up at midnight to go to the kids’ toy sales. I’m still tired and paying for it.
My motto in life is … do your best and always keep smiling.
My life in three words … family and golf.