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Inspiring the next generation: Q&A with Rachel Kuehn ahead of 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur

Following in the footsteps of greatness on the golf course is a familiar path for Rachel Kuehn.

Not long after the Wake Forest standout received her third All-America honors in 2023, she earned the winning point for the Curtis Cup team, an incredible achievement she has done twice. Her mother, Brenda Corrie Kuehn, earned the same winning point for her Curtis Cup team back in 1998.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the family tree.

Stories like Kuehn’s that capture such special moments during a journey will play a significant role at the 2023 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, with the championship not only spotlighting the best women amateur golfers but also helping to inspire the younger generations to go after their dreams—whatever they might be.

And it’s not just watching the talented athletes take on the 54-hole test. The positive impacts from the championship move past the fairways, greens and trophy presentation and into the tales that highlight all aspects of a women’s trials and triumphs—the wins, character, and contributions to the sport, everything that exemplifies what makes her great.

It’s the overall commitment the Augusta National Women’s Amateur’s presenting partner Bank of America supports, echoing the firm belief that athletes’ stories—beyond the course—provide so many benefits and lend deserved attention to women’s sports and all the accomplishments.

Kuehn is one of those talents leading the charge for meaningful change at the championship, which will be on full display when she tees off on March 30.

Let’s get to know the 21-year-old star ahead of her third appearance.

Rachel Kuehn teeing off during the final round of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur on Saturday, April 2, 2022.

Who inspired you to keep practicing and working to get better at golf? 

Rachel: My family constantly inspires me to keep practicing and working hard. I work hard so that I can be a good representative for them. They keep me grounded on tough days with the best kind of love and support. We are always laughing, giving each other a hard time, and enjoying time together. At the end of the day, though, we always want to see each other succeed, and each of us knows we have a team of people behind us. I just want to make them proud.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger? 

Rachel: There are two pieces of advice that I would give to my younger self and to any young athletes that are just starting their career. First, I would say that you should learn to be OK with not being OK. You aren’t always going to play your best, and you will probably be upset with that, but that’s OK. It is OK to not be OK. There are also going to be moments where you are out of your comfort zone, and those are the moments that we grow as people and as athletes.

The second piece of advice that I would pass on would be to enjoy the journey and the process. Your number of junior tournaments are limited, your college golf rounds are limited, and every round you play, both good and bad, is experience under your belt. Enjoy the pressure and the situations you put yourself in. The nerves are a privilege that a lot of people would love to have.  

Tell us a time when you’ve struggled on your journey and how you overcame it? 

Rachel: One thing I have always struggled with is putting my value and identity completely in golf. Because I spend so much of my time thinking about, practicing, and playing golf, it can be really easy to slip into this idea that golf totally encompasses who I am. However, it is so important for golfers not to put their worth in a score. To help me get through this, I developed a support system that includes both people within my golfing circle and people outside. 

Tell us about something or someone that keeps driving you and why? 

Rachel: I want to be the best player I can be. Golf is such a special sport because there is no limit to how much you can keep improving. You can always be a better ball striker, a better chipper, a better putter, stronger, smarter, or more composed. The goal is to one day be the best player in the world, but I have learned to fall in love with the grind. 

Is there a quote from another golfer/idol that inspired you? 

Rachel: There is a quote by one of my golfing idols that reads: “Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.” I love this quote because it inspires me to always keep trying my best despite the previous shot and despite the circumstances. I think the one thing that you can expect from yourself during every round of golf is trying as hard as you can and doing everything in your power to hit the best shot possible. 

Do you consider yourself a role model? 

Rachel: I consider myself a role model. I think that this year, as one of the captains of my college golf team, I have really stepped up to show some of the younger girls what type of culture we want to set for this team. I aspire to set a culture that encourages everyone to work hard, thrive in the classroom, and give 110% effort at everything they do. 

What do you hope younger fans learn from you? 

Rachel: I hope that younger fans learn from me that regardless of what happens on the course, what really matters is how you treat people. Ultimately, the relationships you develop with the people around you will be what lead you to succeed. This is why it matters how you treat people. You could make someone’s day with a simple smile and some small talk.  

What do you want your impact on golf to be?

Rachel: I want to be the type of player that people remember for how I treated the people around me. My hope is that I can make an impact on spectators and players alike by always going out of my way to make conversation with fans who have taken time out of their day to come watch women’s golf. This is so important because, at the end of the day, my goal is to grow the game of golf. I want to get more girls playing and people starting at a younger age. I think that golf is such an incredible tool for developing relationships.  



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