LPGA Chief Communications Officer Roberta Bowman called out Pratima Sherpa in the crowd during the Drive On press conference. Instantly, the Nepalese golf pioneer stood up, waving to the crowd in a moment that crystalizes what she has become to the people of Nepal.
Their own women’s golf founder.
“I just want to give an example of Nepal,” Sherpa told LPGA.com. “There are now ten to fifteen girls who are inspired by me. I’m so proud that other golfers are following me.”
Sherpa serves as a role model for her fellow Nepalese female golfers. She’s given plenty of advice to them as they pick the 19-year old’s brain on her experience. The piece of advice she shares the most consistently rings true not only for those in Nepal, but anyone chasing a dream.
“When there is a challenge, there’s a chance for success. I always say that if you work hard, and you’re fighting challenges, you’ll become successful.”
A primary challenge those players take on is a cultural challenge. Sherpa is working to change the perspective, but it’s still a roadblock for those on their way.
“Some of the teachers don’t understand, what is golf? What is the goal?”
The goal for Sherpa has been crystal clear, as she has reiterated time and time again: to become the first Nepalese professional golfer.
She’s been invited to take a step towards that goal this week, with a sponsor’s exemption to the Epson Tour’s IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, taking another pioneering step. She’s the first Nepalese female golfer to make an appearance on the Epson tour.
She absorbed every moment walking around the first LPGA Tour event she’s seen in person at the Founder's Cup, taking part and winning a skills challenge on Saturday with Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez.
Outside of golf, Sherpa continues to take steps to be her own founder in ways she may not even recognize. Sherpa goes to class at Santa Barbara City College, jamming her schedule in to two days a week so she can spend the rest of the week practicing.
Her favorite class? Public speaking.
Having learned English only five years ago in high school, Sherpa is confident in sharing her experiences in a public forum. She delivered her "best day ever" speech talking about meeting her idol, Tiger Woods in August of 2018.
She continues to add to her abilities on and off the golf course as a founder for Nepalese golf. Sherpa continues to practice what she preaches. Walking up to her interview with her clubs in hand, there was only one place she could be heading once we concluded.
Off to the driving range, putting in hard work to fight the challenge, in order to become successful and achieve her dreams.