Callaway's Olivia Herrick-designed Masters headcovers (Callaway photo)
Olivia Herrick has never stepped foot on the grounds at Augusta National. Her work in graphic design, however, subtly dominated last month’s Masters broadcast. Herrick, 30, is the artist behind the Augusta flora-themed headcovers carried by Callaway players, but her golf story goes far deeper than that.
You’ll find Herrick, based in Roseville, Minn., at the cross-section of competitive mid-amateur golf and golf design, which is a space she occupies pretty much alone. Herrick also created the logo for the Sandbox, a 17-hole short course at Sand Valley Resort in Central Wisconsin that opened in 2018. It caught a Callaway employee’s attention, who found Herrick’s Instagram account. When the company began dreaming up the Masters headcovers, Herrick’s name came up.
“He didn’t even know that I play golf, which I thought was kind of funny,” she said.
Herrick poured hours into the design, even though the turnaround was quick. The headcovers were made in collaboration with Seamus Golf, an accessories maker based in Beaverton, Ore. Each hole at Augusta National is famously named for a flower, which is what drove the idea. Herrick’s unique touch came in when she presented the finished product – on both a white and
a black background. Ultimately the designer knows best.
“They kept saying to me, ‘We’re just going to do them white,’” Herrick remembers. “But I just kept presenting them on black as well, because I really thought it looked great and totally popped off the headcovers. I was pretty persistent in making them consider the black too. I think the combination worked out great.”
By the time the cameras began rolling at Wednesday’s par-3 contest, the headcovers were seemingly everywhere, in every shot. The photos started pouring in to Herrick from friends, family and Getty.
Interestingly, when Callaway released a limited amount of the headcovers to the public on the Friday of Masters week, they sold out almost instantly. Proceeds went to charity.
“Just to see something you’ve been looking at for seven months, out in the world, and with these people I revere,” Herrick said. “I’m a huge Phil Mickelson fan. I love Callaway, I love their equipment and their brand. It was a total dream come true.”
Herrick has given much back to golf, both with this design and others specifically for golf courses. She is close to finalizing projects for two golf courses this spring, and earlier this year completed a design project for a golf architecture and development company. Herrick, a native Minnesotan, also serves on the Minnesota Golf Association’s executive board.
As for Herrick’s golf game, put it this way: If the Augusta National Women’s Amateur had existed when she was a senior at Drake University, Herrick would be in it. She rose as high as No. 28 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking that year, and attributes part of that rise to the decision not
to turn pro.
“People can’t really appreciate how hard it is to be on the road,” said Herrick, who ended her college career as an individual qualifier for NCAA regionals in 2010 (she competed as Olivia Lansing). Herrick had qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2008 and 2009.
In the nearly 10 years since, Herrick has juggled her golf life and professional life gracefully, allowing them to cross over when possible, such as in her recent work for Callaway. She won her third Minnesota Women’s Mid-Amateur title in the past five years this fall, weeks after winning the Minnesota Women’s Open as an amateur. The U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, where Herrick was a semifinalist in 2016, remains the pinnacle of her season.
If Herrick has any advice for professionals who play golf – as opposed to golf professionals – then it’s simply to commit. In her mid-20s, Herrick came to the realization that too often, she was coming up with excuses for why she couldn’t strike a better blend between golf and work. She realized she had to make golf a priority.
“It is plausible that I will drive 20 minutes to our course and I may only practice 45 minutes, but if I can stay focused and have a couple goals and accomplish something in that time, then it’s not time wasted,” she said. “The hard reality is there probably is time, you just have to want it bad enough.”
As Herrick knows, it’s true in golf and in life.
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MORE TV TIME FOR COLLEGE GOLF:
Weeks after the Golf Channel broadcast live from the Western Intercollegiate
, a long-running men’s college event at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif., the network has announced that another regular-season event will be added to the schedule in 2020. Golf Channel announced a multi-year partnership with Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas, to televise the Maridoe Collegiate Invitational.
The Maridoe event will be a 54-hole team and individual stroke-play event that will feature top Division I men’s golf programs from across the country. The field will be announced at a later date. Golf Channel will deliver live tournament coverage Monday-Wednesday, Sept. 14-16.
The venue is worthy of its television slot, having hosted a handful of top amateur events including the Trans-Mississippi Championship and the Texas Mid-Amateur. Maridoe will host the Southern Amateur in 2020.
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WHAT FOUR-BALL DREAMS ARE MADE OF:
It’s never too early to start scheming of ways to get to Bandon Dunes Resort, a rugged golf adventure on the Oregon coast. AmateurGolf.com hosted its 18th annual Two-Man Links Championship there on April 26-29, and the 72-hole event included a round at each of Bandon’s four existing 18-hole layouts.
Jason Bell and Jason Johnstone kept it to 8 over with inspired play in their closing two rounds, and won the title in a playoff
over Mason Mazzola and AmateurGolf.com’s own Kyle Rector.
We’ll see this format – and this venue – again at the end of the month when the U.S. Amateur Four-Ball comes to Bandon Dunes. The USGA will stage their event – which begins with 36 holes of stroke play followed by five rounds of match play – on the Old Macdonald and Pacific Dunes layouts.
Across the country, the USGA already played its first 2019 championship, which happened to be the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball. Incoming Duke freshmen Erica Shepherd and Megan Furtney won it all
In Texas, a pair of mid-amateurs claimed the Champions Cup, which is a four-ball event at Champions Golf Club, famously owned and operated by Texas legend Jack Burke Jr. Matt Cordell and Bryant Lach ran away with the 72-hole event, winning by eight shots
. It may be the last we see of them for awhile.
“Our wives just both had kids, so this may be the last meaningful golf we are going to play for a while,” Lach said, “so I told Matt, let’s get it going and that’s what we did.”
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TOURNAMENTS TO WATCH
NCAA women’s regionals, various sites, May 5-7
Four 54-hole regional sites will consist of 18 teams and six individuals. The four sites are Tumble Creek Golf Club in Cle Elum, Wash.; Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla.; Forest Akers West Golf Course in East Lansing, Mich.; and Saugahatchee Country Club in Opelika, Ala. The low six teams and three individuals not on those teams from each regional will advance to the finals, to be played May 17-22 at Blessings Golf Club in Fayetteville, Ark. Keep an eye out for daily coverage on AmateurGolf.com.
SCGA Public Links, El Dorado Park Golf Club, Long Beach, Calif., May 3-4
As the SCGA competition schedule ramps up, this event (formerly the PLGA Amateur Championship, which started in 1968) draws some of the region’s top amateurs. Former U.S. Amateur Public Links champion Tim Hogarth is a three-time winner here, and came close in 2017 before losing in a playoff.
Lytham Trophy, Royal Lytham & St. Annes, England, May 3-5
The Lytham trophy annually attracts the best amateurs from around Europe, and could be a breakout opportunity for a GB&I Walker Cup hopeful.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK
: IT’S A MARATHON
If there’s one thing Erica Shepherd, the 2017 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion, knows about getting through a USGA championship bracket, it’s that you need your rest. So after she and Megan Furtney closed out their morning semifinal match on the 15th hole, Shepherd got some shuteye before that afternoon’s final.
“I think I really took advantage of our downtime,” Shepherd said.
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TWEET OF THE WEEK
: A #nationalgolfday message from your friendly U.S. Amateur host