Victoria Kwinc`e Browning grew up surrounded by the beautiful mountains of Tucson, Arizona. The Oro Valley, Ariz., resident recalls her introduction to golf with fond memories saying that it was her great-grandmother who bought her first set of “little” clubs when Victoria was just two. “I putted around the house as a youngster and I started playing in tournaments at age six,” says the 15-year-old who carries a 9.5 handicap.
Victoria’s home course is the El Conquistador Country Club located in Arizona’s Oro Valley. She is also a member of the Desert Trails Golf Club (about 6 months now), the Ironwood Ridge High School Girls Golf Team (two years) and she participates with several junior organizations including the Southern Arizona Junior Golf Association (SAJGA) the Junior Golf Association of Arizona (JGAA) and the Ricki Rarick (9 years).
“Most often I play with my dad and the varsity girls on the Ironwood school team. I also play with junior golf organizations throughout the year,” says Victoria, who’s preparing to enter college in a few more years. “I want to major in business and minor in music and dance, hopefully at a college in Southern California.” But for now, Victoria’s concentration is honed in on her grades, and golf.
Victoria practices 5-6 days a week and her usual routine lasts about two hours. However, this past summer (with the support of her Mom, Shelia Browning) she practiced just about every morning, for an hour-and-a-half, squarely focused on being a better golfer when classes rolled back around this fall.
“Our school golf season is two-and-a-half months long, from August to the middle of October. There are four major, 18 hole tournaments— including state—during the season. And there are 14 scheduled 9 hole matches to qualify for state, during the season.”
School tournaments are mostly played at Ironwood Ridge High School’s home course, the beautiful Omni Tucson National Country Club. It sits along the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains and is home to countless PGA Tour and NCAA events including the prestigious Chrysler Classic of Tucson. The school also plays at the Oro Valley Country Club, a private, member-owned club located just northwest of Tucson.
When asked about her proclivity for the game, Victoria says, “I love the challenge and the unpredictability of it. Like, am I going to score well and hit great shots today, or is it going to be another one of those days?” Most of all, she says that she loves the “wow factor” that comes from spectators, “That usually makes me play better!”
All that practice and commitment over seasons past has paid off for Victoria. This year she won a few tournaments. She participated in the Aguila Invitational, Ricki Rarick, SAJGA, Western States, JGAA and several others. These recent accomplishments showcase the proud work of her last three golf instructors: Mark Polich, Bob Gaona and her current trainer Rich Mueller, whom she has been working with since last year.
“Of course my Ironwood Ridge High School golf coach and assistant Coach Robert Springs and Coach Justin Bubser have all been a tremendously help to me this year,” says Victoria. (Pictured left: Victoria (c) with Ironwood Ridge High School teammates)
”Three years ago I broke the 100’s, two years ago I broke the 90’s, and this past summer I broke into the 70’s.”
”My biggest challenge is focusing on each shot instead of results. That’ what will get me in the low-to-mid 80’s verses the high-to-mid 70’s. If I scored poorly it only makes me want to practice and see how much better I do the next time. If I play well it makes me love the game that much more and continuously strive to get better.”
Full of grace, charm and confidence when Victoria is not practicing her golf game you can find her melodically dancing to music–that’s a big one for her. “I love that I can hear a song for the first time and automatically start dancing on beat to it.”
Victoria also has an enviable TO DO list: “I want to get a golf scholarship. My dream is to play golf along the beach and play at beautiful courses, after all I wasn’t named Torrey for nothing. Hint: (Torrey Pines), she jokes. I’m really big on being the leader of situations, which is why I want to major in business. One day I want to own my own chain of dance studios.”
More success is definitely on the horizon for Victoria and you are sure to hear lots more about her in the near future.