For most students, your first semester at university is a time of adjustment. Almost everything is different from high school, from the size of the classes to the expectations of schoolwork; it’s a serious step up.
Now add the commitment of a demanding practice schedule, and you get a sense of what Jaya Rampuri, a first-year communication major on the women’s golf team, has had to adapt to since the start of the semester.
“I went from being a very unorganized person to a super organized person,” said Rampuri on how she has had to adapt to university. “I’ve got a planner that literally tells me when I’m doing things at what time, and how much time I have. Especially with readings, I won’t go to sleep until that reading is done, because I know it needs to be done, otherwise I’ll fall behind.
“In that sense, I’m trying to make sure I’m staying on top of my schoolwork, but I also want to make sure I designate a certain amount of time to practice.”
The practice schedule is demanding. Rampuri practices “six times a week” for multiple hours at a time.
“We practice down at the range all together once a week for two hours. But we’re expected, and we do, play five days besides that one day a week.
“We buddy up [as well], we just go and chip around or we’ll hit the range or we’ll go on the course. It’s just honestly what you feel you need to work on. Right now we’re focusing a lot on the short game, because that’s something we’ve all been struggling with. We lose a lot of strokes there.”
With her skill level, you would think Rampuri would have been playing golf as long as she could remember. But Rampuri started relatively late, as she didn’t start playing golf until the age of 13. She started at the insistence of her mother, who asked her to try it out.
“To experience a team win is so much more than an individual win from my perspective.”
“I wanted to start competing in tournaments when I saw the LPGA [Ladies Professional Golf Association] come to Vancouver Golf Club, which is my home club,” Rampuri explained. “When I saw them come, I watched the girls and I was pretty inspired. So I asked my mom to put me in more tournaments.
“[From there] I went into some junior events and I started playing, and then once I kept playing I just wanted to get better and better at it. So I started working harder, started playing more days. I went from playing once a week to almost seven days a week.”
Despite some offers from various schools, including UBC where her sister played, she decided to come to SFU to test herself against the best.
“SFU just made [the most] sense,” she explained. “I like that they’re NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association], I like that I can compete in the United States, and travel a little bit and play against really good competition. Plus the education is very good.”
She’s been adjusting well on the course as well. Rampuri finished 11th at both the Western Washington Invitational and the Concordia Invitational. The team finished first in their first two tournaments too.
“It was a pretty big high,” she said on the early success the team has found so far this year. “To experience a team win is so much more than an individual win from my perspective. It put us on a high and it showed us how good we are and how much potential we have. So I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and to continue to win tournaments.”
Despite being way in the future, Rampuri already has a clear vision of what she wants to accomplish once her time is up at SFU.
“As of right now, I would love to be a coach for golf. I have a long way to go for that. I’m coaching here and there, helping out with the Vancouver Golf Club or with the LAB team I go out to see. [. . .] I’m helping out in that sense getting some experience. But I guess the ultimate goal is to go professional. If that ever comes my way I would definitely like to take that opportunity.”
With a fantastic start to her collegiate career so far, don’t be surprised to hear Jaya Rampuri’s name frequently in the future.