G for green, G for golf, G for Goraj

Abby Goraj reflects on her passion for golf and her goals for the future.

Goraj+with+her+Fox+Valley+Conference+Championship+trophy.+

Courtesy of Abby Goraj

Goraj with her Fox Valley Conference Championship trophy.

Natalie VonderHeide

As she stepped foot on the field of green grass, the world became silent. She took one swing and watched as the ball and all her nerves flew away. 

After playing competitively for four years and recreationally for almost eight, golf has made a big impact on senior Abby Goraj’s life. 

Learning to play when she was only 10 years old, the young golfer thanks her grandfather for the journey. 

“My grandpa and I have always had a really close bond,” Abby said. “We share a birthday, and I wanted to do something that he liked to do. [Golf] looked fun, which sometimes it’s not, but I wanted to play because I wanted to make my grandpa happy.”

Since then, the athlete has built a life around the sport by prioritizing everything for her training.

“Golf comes first,” Abby said. “I’m pretty good with school and work. I always manage to get things done ahead of time, so I can focus on golf.” 

Family support has always been big in the Goraj home as Abby feels connected to many of her peers. 

“My sister is one of the hardest workers I know,” said Abby’s older sister Emily Goraj. “Yes, she can be lazy, but whenever someone asks her to do anything she’ll jump. She always makes sure that the job is done the right way.” 

Even though Abby understands her family’s support, pressure still overcomes her mind when playing. 

“When [people] I know are there and I do horrible, I feel like I let them down,” Abby said. “They love that I play the sport, and they think I’m a great player, there’s just that pressure to do even better than I can.” 

While Abby initially took on the sport for fun, she now sees herself playing through college and possibly professionally. 

“My goal is to continue golf in college,” Abby said. “If I could play golf professionally, I would be living my fantasy of being on tv, but I’d love to play it professionally because it’s a great game and you can make a lot of money.”

Abby’s support system could also see her making it farther in her golfing career, not only for her skill but also for personal qualities. 

“[Abby] always puts others before herself no matter what she is going through,” Abby’s mom Stacey Goraj said. “[She] is a hard worker [and] takes pride in whatever she is doing and always wants to make sure she doesn’t disappoint anyone.”

Abby still has not officially committed anywhere but looks forward to the opportunities in the future. 

“I will always love the game,” Abby said. “I hope to take it as far as I can, but I will never stop playing.”