Feature: Paula Reto
Paula Reto drives the ball.

May 7, 2010

West Lafayette, Ind. - Paula Reto is not like a lot of collegiate golfers; instead of learning the sport at a ‎young age, Reto began her career as a freshman in high school. It is a testament to ‎her athleticism that she was able to earn a college scholarship at Purdue after just ‎four years of playing golf. ‎

Before her freshman year of high school, Reto lived with her parents and three ‎siblings in Cape Town, South Africa, where field hockey is one of the most popular ‎sports. In 2005, the family moved to Coral Springs, Fla., where she found it difficult ‎to find a field hockey team that matched her skill level. Her father suggested she try ‎golf.‎

‎"It was kind of slow for me at first, but I decided to play in high school," Reto said. "I ‎made the team but wasn't that good. I just started practicing more and more. After a ‎while I liked it, but didn't think I was ever going to be good enough to play college ‎golf."‎

Despite her late start with the sport, Reto was able to translate her hockey swing ‎into a golf swing. And it was a job at a Florida golf club that hosted the Big Ten ‎Match Play Championships that introduced her to Purdue head coach Devon Brouse. ‎

‎"I thought I was going to go to a small school (in Florida) that had a golf team but ‎wasn't that good," Reto said. "Then, one of the club members introduced me to coach ‎Brouse. Eventually, I talked to him and said I would come to Purdue. I had never ‎even visited campus."‎

Reto did know that Purdue was a good school and her parents were supportive of ‎her choice. Now that she's at Purdue, she's focusing on continuously improving her ‎game, but also on her academics. ‎

‎"I really love the game of golf, but first I want to get an education and then I'm going ‎to try to play pro," she said. "I'm going to give myself a year after college and see ‎how it goes. The amount of things I learned in the first year was amazing, so I think ‎there's only more progression afterwards. But education is first."‎




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