25-year-old, Nikita Arjun, actually began playing tennis at a young age and played simultaneously with golf for 6 years before exclusively playing golf at the age of 12. Since then she has been playing golf for 13 years, turning professional after graduating from Armstrong State University, now known as Georgia Southern University in the fall of 2018.
Within her year of turning pro, Nikita has already earned a 6th place finish at the 2019 Harmony Golf Preserve and T20th at the 2018 FT Rucker Open on the NWGA Suncoast Tour event and gone onto Stage 2 of Q school earning her status for this year on the Symetra Tour.
Just two weeks back she met Noah Montgomery at a tournament in Arizona, where she answered few questions for us through him and today she is back with us sharing her professional journey and how it is being ‘Always On The Go’.
Being a professional golfer isn’t just about seeing new courses and playing week after week. It’s about travelling and getting to see and explore new cities each week. Some times the roads are never-ending, or you feel like you’ve been flying for hours, which can get a little old after the fourth or fifth week but along the way you get to meet new friends and some of them might even be fury. So, this is how my first year as a professional golfer went.
It started with a 12hr drive from Savannah, GA to El Dorado, AK. This drive was my first long-distance road trip that lasted more than 8hrs. It took me four states, and around 3 or 4 stops to reach my destination. Long road trips are fun, but once you have about 2-3 hrs left on the trip, it gets a little tedious and tiring, especially if you’re driving alone. Luckily for me, I had my podcasts, Netflix, and my family to keep me company over the phone. You’re probably thinking “oh my god, how could she watch Netflix and drive at the same time!?” Well, I either had Grey’s Anatomy or FRIENDS on in the background and since I’d watched them over and over, I knew what was going on. That was probably the last time I drove more than 8hrs at a stretch because though the drive was fun, it did take a toll on the body. But on the bright side, I did hold a monkey for the first time.
Fast forward to one of my favourite stretch of road trips till date on tour. It was the drive from GA to Pottstown, PA just outside Philadelphia, PA and later on from PA to South Bend, IN home to the University of Notre Dame. These drives were beautiful and took me through 12 states. Living in what people call “the low country” all you see are lakes, rivers, and beaches. So as I drove north, the scenery became more breathtaking. Pottstown, PA was like a town out of a fairytale. There were cobblestone roads, mini single-lane bridges, and quaint houses. It’s hard to believe that this town was an hour from the major city of Philadelphia.
Of course, I couldn’t leave Pennsylvania without visiting Philly. One of the things on my bucket list was to eat a Philly cheesesteak, well in Philadelphia it’s called a cheesesteak. So I crossed that off along with seeing the famous steps from the Rocky movies and the Rocky Balboa statue.
The drive to South Bend, IN from PA was beautiful because all I did was drive through mountains. I may have driven through 4 tunnels till I got to Cleveland, OH. One downfall though about the drive was that toll cost a lot of money. But it was all worth it. The trip from Pottstown, PA to South Bend, IN was approximately 11hrs, so of course, I had to take a break for a few hours. And that break was in Cleveland, OH. That was an exciting stop because I got to see something I’ve never seen before and that was a police chase just outside of downtown Cleveland. The city itself was pretty and very metropolitan with skyscrapers and clean streets. The only surprising thing was that the roads were empty. There were barely any people, and this was in the middle of June, so the weather was pretty warm. All in all, that was a good two weeks on the road. The drive back to Savannah, GA from Indiana was 14hrs, which was long but also entertaining at the same time with the constant change in scenery and landscape.
The next most memorable road trip was to French Lick, IN. By now, I was used to driving more than 8 hrs, so this 10 hrs drive was easy, though I did spend the night in Nashville, TN on the way up to Indiana. French Lick, IN is a quiet town but very quaint at the same time. The main attraction there besides The Donald Ross course and The Pete Dye Course is the French Lick Resort which is etched with history.
Being on tour and being always on the road for weeks really opens your eyes to what each part of the world or even a country has to offer and to new perspectives. There’s always something new to learn around every turn!