Emily Talley: “You Never Regret a Workout!”

Strength. Explosiveness. Endurance. Above all, Emily Talley’s fitness routine is about building one thing: Confidence.

On a dreary winter morning in Boulder, Emily Talley’s vivacity illuminates the weight room at the University of Colorado’s Dal Ward Center, the place where she spent countless hours and gallons of sweat during her four years on the women’s golf team.

Her hard work has paid off. When she graduated in 2012, she was CU’s Female Athlete of the Year and an honorable mention All-America. She held 45 school records and led the Buffaloes to their first-ever NCAA Nationals appearance.

“If she did badly in a tournament, she was first one in the weight room the next day,” remembers Assistant Speed, Strength and Conditioning Coach Steve Englehart. “If she did great, she wanted to be greater. It was crazy.” Englehart says Talley’s “competitiveness, charisma and attitude made her one of the best athletes I’ve had, hands-down.”

Golf Channel viewers got to see Talley’s athleticism on The Big Break NFL Puerto Rico. Paired with football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice and contestant Isaac Sanchez, she sank the winning putt, punching her ticket to a berth in the ShopRite LPGA Classic.

In two years on the Symetra Tour, she improved from 45th to 18th on the money list. She came in second in the inaugural 2014 Big Break Invitational, winning $50,000—an amount that would have secured an LPGA card via either the Symetra (eighth on the list) or LPGA Tour (118th).

Instead, she went to LPGA Qualifying School, where she started strong but stumbled to a 78 on the last day, finishing 59th overall. Undaunted, Talley—who currently lives in San Francisco with her boyfriend, former CU cross-country ski team member Andreas Hoye—is full-on committed to playing her way onto the LPGA Tour this year. That requires technical, mental and physical commitment. All of which begins, she says, in the gym.

SHE'S WORKING ON SWING CHANGES with CU Women’s Assistant Golf Coach Brent Franklin. “For years my swing has been mainly arms, so we’re looking to do more dynamic movements with my lower body. That means strengthening my core, my legs, my butt. A lot of squats, back-squats and plyometric jumps. When your first movement in your downswing needs to be a transition left with your thighs, you’ve got to have them engaged, moving and strong.”

TEAM TALLEY IS IN PLACE. In addition to Franklin, Talley works with California-based fitness trainer Judy Lowrey and sports psychologist Erika Carlson. The latter has helped her set goals and a plan to reach them. So this year’s goal is obviously to finish top 10 and get the LPGA card? “No, it’s top two,” she says. “If you shoot for the moon and you miss, you’ll wind up among the stars. I shot for top ten last year. I missed it, but just by a little. If I miss top-two by just a little, I’m still in the top 10.”

AND,SPEAKING OF THE TOP TWO. Aside from The Big Break, Talley has not won an individual tournament, either collegiately or professionally, which questions her ability to close. “Number two is just fine in my mind,” she says. “Would I rather go down in history for winning the U.S. Women’s Open or finishing Top-10 in 20 events? I’d rather have the Top-10s, because I’m bound to finish first in one of them. I want a consistent occupation.”

LISTEN TO A LEGEND. “Jerry Rice said, ‘I learn more from my losses than my wins.’ But I haven’t had that many losses. I’m doing pretty darn good.”

THE CONFIDENCE GAME. “I’ve found that being physically fit helps your confidence in everything. When you can do something over and over again without feeling fatigued, it breeds confidence. When I feel I’m stronger or less tired than the girl next to me, it gives me an advantage. Also, when you feel fit, you feel good about yourself. That’s especially important in golf because it doesn’t matter how many others believe in you. If you don’t believe in yourself, you’re not going to get anywhere.”

THERE'S ANOTHER MOTIVATION… “I’m a foodie. I grew up in Napa. I love my food and wine. If you work out hard, you can enjoy the delicacies of life and not feel guilty about it.”

…AND ANOTHER…“Every golfer has to supplement their income with sponsorships, and it helps to be fit. Nobody wants to support someone who’s overweight, smoking cigarettes and drinking beer—unless it’s a cigarette or beer company. I mean, I’m sponsored by Bandit Wines, but that’s different. They’re from Napa.”

…AND YET ANOTHER. “I want to be a fitness model, which is odd, because I’m not a bragger. I like seeing other people’s online fitness photos, their successes, but I don’t like posting photos of myself. I want to be a model for regular people.”

LOVE CONQUERS ALL. “My boyfriend, Andreas, is a competitive endurance athlete and my biggest supporter. A lot of time he wants to be my strength coach, my mental coach, everything. I love that he pushes me hard, but I don’t want to resent him for waking me up at 5:30 to go for a run. I don’t want tough love from my boyfriend.”

LESSON LEARNED “He’s caddied for me in my best events. Last year I thought I needed a professional caddie at Q-School, and the whole time I’m out there I’m thinking, Why didn’t I have Andreas caddie for me? That was such a great learning experience. I know how to read greens. I know my course management. I know my game and my distances. I can have my boyfriend as moral support.”

WORDS TO LIVE BY. “One of my favorite quotes is, ‘Whether you believe you can do it or you believe you can’t do it, you’re right.’ I come out of the gym, and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I feel good.’ I may be really tired but I feel like I can do anything. You never regret a workout.”

Get some workout tips from Emily Talley here!


Workout with Emily Talley

Emily Talley Nearly Wins Big Break Invitational

Talley Wins Big Break All-Star NFL

Talley Debuts at Big Break Mexico

5 LPGA Tour Players You Need to Follow on Instagram Now

Rick George: Building a Winner at CU

The Passion of “Big Al” Williams: “I love golf far more than I love football.”

It Doesn’t Stink Being Mark Schlereth

Colorado AvidGolfer is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.