McKenzie Lyng first became interested in golf when she was 16-years-old.
Now, the 2007 Green High School graduate has her own business called BackSwing Golf Events in Arizona. Starting out, Lyng said she had some pressure from her dad.
“I’ll never forget how my dad wanted us to play golf so bad, but I always thought golf was an old man’s sport,” Lyng said. “I wanted to play on the golf team because I played softball in the spring, so golf gave me something to do in the fall.”
She said she didn’t grow up playing or competing.
“This was just something fun for me to do in my spare time,” Lyng said.
Lyng played golf for three years in high school and then was recruited to play at Kent State University.
“I was actually recruited as a walk on and told I would have to earn my scholarship,” Lyng said. “That was fine by me. I realized I was at a very good Division I school, and I would have to work hard to get into the lineup.”
She said her first college golf event was Michigan State University’s event and she continued to qualify for some more events her sophomore year which would eventually help her earn a scholarship.
After finishing at Kent, Lyng moved to Arizona to turn professional and pursue her dreams of playing on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). She competed on the Cactus Tour and Canadian Tour for about five years.
“I had gone to qualifying school and just kept coming up short,” Lyng said.
In 2013, she was cast to be on Big Break Mexico and she said this was the highlight of her golf career.
“It was one of the best experiences of my life,” Lyng said. “After that, I played for a couple more years, then realized my heart wasn’t in it anymore. I had gotten married and wanted to go a different way with my golf.”
Lyng said there are many things she enjoys about golf, one of them being a sport that can be played forever. She also said her husband golfs, along with her sisters and dad.
“It’s fun that most of my family can get out and enjoy the same sport,” Lyng said. “I love the competition. Even though I am not playing competitive events anymore.”
With golf comes challenges for everyone who plays, Lyng added.
“When I was playing, my biggest challenge was getting out of my own way,” Lyng said. “Golf is such a mental sport, so it’s very easy to get in your own head. Now, I am just more relaxed when I play and really enjoy the game more.”
Starting a business
Lyng and her best friend, Amanda Robertson, traveled together when they played full time. They took part in some pro-ams for the professional events they played in and began to think to themselves about why there aren’t more of them. She said the pro-ams helped them pay for their golf.
“We were driving to Vegas one day for a couple events and decided if we didn’t do it, someone else will,” Lyng said. “So that is when BackSwing Golf Events was born.”
BackSwing Golf Events brings lady professional golfers to corporate and charity golf events all over the country.
“We are personable, professional and excellent golfers,” Lyng said. “The ladies who work for us are amazing women, trying to make it on the LPGA.”
She said not only is BackSwing Golf Events trying to help charities, but it is helping golfers further their careers.
The company started in the fall of 2015 and first did 62 events in 2016, 80 in 2017 and 180 in 2018.
“The excitement and interaction we bring to golf events is contagious,” Lyng said. “Think about approaching a par three with a female pro there waiting to kick your butt. That’s what we do. There are other ways we can be incorporated as well, but our staple is the “beat the pro” game on a par three.”
What Lyng enjoys most about having her business is the flexibility it provides for not only herself, but for the pros who work with her company.
“I wish I had a BackSwing Golf Events when I was playing full time,” Lyng said. “These women are able to make money to pay for their golf events, without having a full-time job.”
She said if someone wants to play professional golf on tour, they cannot have a nine to five job.
“I also love that my transition out of playing full time has been so smooth,” Lyng said. “I can be a working mom but also be present in my son’s life every day.”
Lyng is married to her husband, Jonathan, and they have a 2-year-old son, Brayden. She admits BackSwing Golf Events is growing very fast, but she believes her and Robertson are in a good spot right now.
“We want to grow this properly so that we can hire more lady professionals to work more golf events,” Lyng said. “We believe 250 to 350 events a year would be an awesome spot to be in.”
She said her parents have been her biggest inspiration and she said she didn’t realize how hard being a mom was until she became one.
“Both my parents have given me the tools to be successful in parenting and business,” Lyng said.
She said she never really imagined being where she is today.
“I knew I loved golf and wanted to keep it in my life forever, but didn’t think I would be running an incredible company with my best friend,” Lyng said. “I realized my dream of playing on the LPGA was not within reach when I didn’t want to practice every day.” My love for the game had diminished and was being pulled in other directions.”
Lyng said with BackSwing Golf Events, she gets paid to be at events and gets to stay home when she wants to. During the week she has a schedule which keeps her on track she said and conference calls during nap times have become the new thing.
“I am so blessed that this is where I am in my life, with golf, my family and my business,” Lyng said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
This story was also published in The Suburbanite www.thesuburbanite.com