By Dylan Donahue, Senior Writer, Golf Channel
Ask Olafia Kristinsdottir why she is an ambassador for the game of golf in Iceland and the answer is simple: It’s where she grew up.
“Golf was just something that I played,” said Kristinsdottir, the first female professional golfer in Iceland and a trailblazer for women in the game in her own country. “I never thought it was part of my sport, so I was just doing it and making sure that I played it, practiced it a little bit, and then some.”
Kristinsdottir grew up on the island of Hvolsifoss, which lies just west of the Draa Peninsula, where she continued her hockey career. Kristinsdottir played on both boys and girls’ teams, which gave her the strength to withstand golf’s “no kickers” rule.
Once Kristinsdottir started playing professionally, she brought her interest and competitive drive to professional golf’s next level.
Kristinsdottir is now the world’s No. 85 ranked player. This month, Kristinsdottir won the Iceland Ladies Amateur Cup. She won that event six years in a row until 2017.
Kristinsdottir’s mindset also has matured over the years. She is no longer playing a competition golf in her mind. Instead, she has become a member of the pros, and, instead of thinking about competing on the golf course every day, she is striving to be a better golfer.
“It [was] like hitting a small target and you keep hitting the same pin,” Kristinsdottir said of her mindset when she played in amateur golf. “When I became a professional, I realized you can [compete] against the professionals; it’s not like a small target anymore.”
Kristinsdottir is looking forward to learning more as a professional golfer in 2019.
“I think I’m going to work harder next year for sure,” she said. “I’m going to work harder to learn the game and how to improve myself as a golfer.”