Drive On

Diamond Resorts Drives On for the Future presented by Caribbean Sol essay contest

Program Description

LPGA-USGA Girls Golf is excited to partner with Diamond Resorts through a national essay contest open to Girls Golf members across the nation. Applicants will be asked to answer the question “What Drives You?”, tying in with the LPGA’s new Drive On campaign and giving the girls an opportunity to reflect on their personal Drive On story.

For further details on the contest and prizes, please read the official contest rules in their entirety. Note that the application must be submitted by the students' parent or guardian. 


Congratulations to our winners!


  • Allyson Bell (Ages 11-13)
  • Sophia Brubaker (Ages 14-17)
  • Ophelia Bunuel (Ages 7-10)
  • Sydney Butler (Ages 7-10)
  • Chloe Chang (Ages 11-13)
  • Katherine Chartrain (Ages 14-17)
  • Kianny Gil (Ages 11-13)
  • Claire Hollingsworth (Ages 11-13)
  • Emily Kaliden (Ages 14-17)
  • Adalai Kwiatkowski (Ages 11-13)
  • Sara Matos (Ages 14-17)
  • Hannah Milano (Ages 7-10)
  • Vrishti Patel (Ages 14-17)
  • Ava Sanchez (Ages 7-10)
  • Catherine Seder (Ages 7-10)

Grand Prize Winners:

  • Jaylee Munday (Ages 7-10)
  • Selam Olson (Ages 11-13)
  • Cameron Spellman (Ages 14-17)



Allyson Bell (11) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of the Mobile, AL

"Dear LPGA,

I am Allyson Bell an 11 year old from Eight Mile, Alabama. I became interested in golf at 5 years old. Golf has taught me many lessons on and off the course. Golf has taught me to be a leader, work hard and honesty. "What Drives Me" is the determination to become not only a better golfer but a better person. One of my goals is to encourage and inspire others to play golf. There are lots of women in the LPGA that have inspired me. To see LPGA players that look like me like Ms. Mariah Stackhouse and Ms. Cheyenne Woods is very encouraging. Even when there are players around me that do not look like me when I compete I will not let that stop me. I will not give up because I know I can accomplish all of my goals with hard work. It is encouraging for me to see Ms. Mariah play because I know even more that I can play golf at Stanford and play in the LPGA. This is what drives me. My parents have always encouraged me to be the best that I can be. Every day I try to be better than I was the day before. I am committed to being an example for my classmates, friends, community and other golfers. I had a chance to speak with Mrs. Nancy Lopez at the Augusta National Women's Amateur Championship on the practice putting green and the words of encouragement she gave me still sticks with me today. She encouraged me to work hard, have fun, and to never give up. I am dedicated to working hard, encouraging others, dreaming big, and believing in myself. This is what drives me! Thank you."

Sophia Brubaker (16) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of the Main Line of Philadelphia

"The unique experiences and the unconditional love by family are a precious foundation that drives me to set high goals and to excel in pursuing them. I am fortunate to have been born into an international family which has led to amazing experiences. I have visited 25 countries, I have developed friendships with kids from all over the world, and I even learned to golf on the Black Sea in Bulgaria. I attended an international school in Europe, which opened my eyes to how much the world has to offer. While there, I embraced new opportunities, such as giving a TEDx talk about my celiac disease that has been viewed by almost 70,000 people. I would never have imagined the impact this talk would make on others, but seeing the many positive comments drives me to work hard and to continue to seize new opportunities. My experiences drive me to set goals that include more interesting experiences, because I know that they will both impact me and others in powerful ways.

I don't take family love and support for granted. My grandmother learned how to play golf in her sixties, which has allowed us to share many memories golfing together over the years. This past summer, we both competed in the Bulgarian State National Golf Tournament, a first for both of us. Seeing my grandparents be proud of me drives me to do better. My experiences and my family have made me who I am, and ultimately drive me to set new goals and to constantly improve in everything I do, whether it be golf, relationships, or whatever life throws my way."

Ophelia Buñuel (9) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Miami

"What Drives Me

by Ophelia Bunuel

Drive has many meanings, three years ago, I would've told you about the first time I drove a go cart. Two years ago it meant the thrilling feeling of swinging a driver while watching my golf ball fly over the fairway. Now it's about motivation, the drive to want whatever I'm doing to be successful.

I'm driven to change lives in a positive way, sometimes when I'm playing golf I love saying "good shot' or "nice putt". It fascinates me that I can bring joy by being positive to someone. Curiosity also drives me, it's thanks to curiosity that I started golf, violin, ballet, and taekwondo. Starting taekwondo I feared getting injured, however my fear didn't stop my curiosity and in the end it helped me with golf. Sometimes curiosity is thought of as a bad thing, but if we didn't have curiosity nothing would ever happen.

With curiosity comes courage because you can't have one of them without the other. Courage is also important to me because it's how I make new friends. Love is like drive when comparing their meanings because when I love something it becomes my passion and drive is what makes me want to learn more about my passion.

Lastly is respect. Respect is important to me because I want it and I know others want it. Respect is one of the main things I look for in someone's character when I'm getting to know them. Respect is not just for people but places deserve it like golf courses. I conclude that the things that drive me are changing lives in a positive way, curiosity, courage, love and respect."

Sydney Butler (7) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Fort Myers, FL

"I have always been told I am "too" small for just about everything in life. Golf is not different. I had a medical problem when I was very young that caused me to be little. I am healthy and growing now, but I get a lot of strange looks on the golf course. I hope every girl knows no matter what her size is she can do anything she puts her mind to. My big sister plays golf and I have always wanted to be just like her. I have been on the golf course watching her most of my life. I decided to give it a try when I was four. My clubs were as big as I was and my dad had to help me get them out of the cart because I could not reach them in the bag.

I know I may not be able to have the power to drive the ball like other girls my age. And yes, sometimes this is very frustrating, especially on long par 5 holes. But size doesn't stop me from enjoying the game! I like to focus on my chipping and putting. Size and power doesn't really play a part in this area of golf.

I hope every girl knows that no matter what size a girl happens to be, she can do anything. Playing golf can be fun, win or lose! "

Chloe Chang (12) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Sarasota, FL

"I'm a 12 year old girl who loves school and golf. What drives me in life is my love for golf and support from my mom.

One thing that drives me is my love for playing golf. Going to the golf club after school has been a daily routine that I love. I practice five to six days a week and I usually play one or two tournaments a month. One of my favorite parts of going to golf tournaments is being able to meet friends and making new friends from all over the world when I go to golf tournaments. Another one of my favorite parts of going to tournaments is the competitive aspect of playing against my friends. This is why I love playing golf.

Someone who drives me is my mom. I live with my mom and she is my greatest supporter. She supports me on and off the course. She supports me on the course by caddying me and helping me practice. She supports me off the course by acting as a great motherly figure. For example, she cooks food for me, she drives me to places, she is very kind, loving, and so much more. This is how my mom drives me.

In conclusion, this is what drives me in life. I think the 'Drive On' campaign was a great idea that inspires girls that they can do anything. I think the idea that no girl should be set apart is a great message and this way we can be a great next generation. Let's drive on!"

Katherine Chartrain (16) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf at The First Tee of New Hampshire

"It was my first round of golf in 2018. Taking my practice swings I felt as comfortable and calm as I ever have. With confidence, I stepped up to the ball and aimed. As I hit the ball, everything went silent. It launched creating an arch in the sky while the trees danced in the wind. My surroundings silenced and faded away as I focused on where I wanted the ball to go. As it hit the ground, my vision slowly came back to focus on my surroundings. Being on the course has taught me so much about myself and life. This is what drives me.

Focus, patience, perseverance, and persistence; all traits necessary in golf and life. On the course, I must focus to hit the ball a few feet from the pin. I apply this focus to my honors classes at school. Persevering through a terrible round, this same determination is needed when I play my marimba at a marching band competition. Being the only girl on my high school golf team requires persistence to show the boys I deserve my spot on the team.

The experiences I have had playing golf have allowed me to grow. I am confident, no longer intimidated by the boys, but showing them how it is done. Volunteering as a mentor for a Girls Golf junior program, I developed leadership skills as I help young girls apply the lessons of golf so they can be their best selves on and off the course. Golf is more than a game. As I look to college, I hope to pursue a career where I can continue to mentor others in the lessons I have learned; be persistent, confident, and persevere. You must work hard on and off the course in order to succeed."

Kianny Gil (11) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Miami

"My reason to drive on began the moment that I was born! Me and my twin sister were born when my mom was 28 weeks pregnant. I was the smaller twin and at only 2.2 pounds, I had many complications that kept me in the NICU for over 4 months. I had a surgery to put a clip in my heart and another to repair a hernia, which caused the flu and my lungs to collapse. I had to be revived and my parents say that this was the scariest night of their lives!

At 2, an accident cut my eye and doctors performed emergency surgery. They were able to save my eye, but did not guarantee my vision. This accident has helped me to Drive On, as it has taken a lot of hard work throughout the years to keep my vision.

Today, I am a competitive 11 year old, who loves sports! I am currently involved in gymnastics, cross country, and my biggest passion, golf. My schedule limits my time on the golf course, but I am relentless and you can find me practicing my swing in my backyard late at night or putting in my room. My parents get mad when I stay outside too late, but when you love golf as much as I do, it is not hard work doing what you love.

Throughout my life, my biggest Drive On factor are my parents. I am motivated to make sure that I become the best person and athlete possible, so that I can pay them back for everything they have done for me. I obtain happiness to see their joy whenever I succeed. If I were to fail, they are there to comfort me, because no matter what, I have them to Drive On!"

Claire Hollingsworth (13) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Memphis

"Just two days after being born, I was left in a small wooden box on the steps of an orphanage in Hunan, China. There, I was given the name Yi Ru Song. Just nine months later, I was adopted by a golf loving family from halfway around the world, Memphis, Tennessee. I was given a new name, Claire Song Hollingsworth, and a new opportunity... both on and off the golf course.

Being adopted is not the only thing that makes me unique; I am also small in stature. My parents say I am the perfect size. However, we all know I was the smallest at the orphanage, the smallest in my grade every year, and always the smallest on the golf course!

My size is what drives me in golf and in life. I am constantly compared to kids half my age and receive hurtful comments regarding my size. I like to respond, "I might be small, but I am mighty!" I was also prescribed medicine to help me grow. I had to give myself a shot everyday for two years. Talk about being mighty!

I started playing golf two years ago and have improved greatly. My coach and family push me to do the very best I can in both golf and school. I use the comments of others as motivation to push myself to get better. Because of my size, I do not drive the ball very far. This has forced me to work harder, get stronger, and improve on the other parts of my game so that I can compete with the bigger girls. I also use this motivation in the classroom as I was recently inducted into the National Junior Honor Society. Watch out world, I am just teeing off!"

Emily Kaliden (14) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Litchfield County, CT

"My name is Emily Kaliden, I am 14 years old and live in Simsbury, CT. I am fortunate to have found my sport - golf. I have always loved to watch golf on TV, especially the LPGA. I look up to Lexi Thompson, and think, "Could I be there one day?" Everyone has something or someone that drives them and pushes them on to do new things and pursue goals. I have a few things that drive me: my family, friends, success and winning. Since I started playing golf, I have really enjoyed playing with friends and family.

Success drives me - as I play, practice, and do school work. In my golf lessons, I try to compete with myself and set goals that are reasonable for me to meet. When I play, I like to win. I do my best and think about each stroke carefully and the best way to round a corner or to sink a long putt. When I golfed in an inhouse league, I liked the competition, it made me want to get better. In school, I strive for the best. The best grades, top scores on tests and projects. When I succeed at something it gives me a sense of satisfaction that I reached personal expectations. My family also drives me. My parents will push me to do my best and encourage me to keep going even when things are difficult. I appreciate everything my parents do for me such as driving me 40 minutes away for a golf lesson. I also play golf with my parents which helps me to improve my score. Thank you, Mom and Dad!

Success and my family are the two main things that drive me. Everyone needs something to motivate them."

Adalai Kwiatkowski (12) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of North Florida

"Have you ever felt alone or wondered what difference it would make if you were never born? I have often pondered this question. It is not that I do not want to live this life, I want to make every moment count! You may be asking, "I know, but what drives you?" Well, Christ does. He paid for my sins and everyone else's sins as well, with death on the cross. He didn't have to save me from my sins and yet He did. I want my life to reflect this same love, care, and compassion for people.

What drives me is making a difference in the lives of others whether it is giving someone a bible that has never had one or maybe even a simple hello. Many times I find myself more concerned about my own problems rather than the problems others are facing. Everyday more and more people are being discouraged by hurtful words. I can lift up our community and the people in it with the words I speak and the actions I take. This drives me everyday in whatever I am doing to think of others and what they are facing.

Instead of pondering why I am here, I know I am here for a purpose. I am driven to make my moments with people count. I want to talk less and listen more. I choose to give more and take less. I desire to use only uplifting words and to encourage in all my conversations. I am driven to be a light to others and make every moment count. I am not alone. I can make a difference!"

Sara Matos (14) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Miami

"What drives me... Well I am only 14 years old and the last few years haven't been easy! I have had to deal with losing my home to a Hurricane Irma, living with my golf coach and trying to keep up my golf, school and life. When the national campaign was released I immediately felt even closer to the incredible LPGA family! Seeing the hardships that the founders came through and the biggest legends in golf and how they have driven on to achieve their goals inspires me! Shirley Spork is my main inspiration for drive on! I have had the pleasure to meet her several times and communicate with her and hear her stories of how they have travelled and what they went through founding the LPGA and her incredible words of wisdom really help me get up and do my best every day! I am lucky enough to have an incredible dream team behind me and a team who loves and supports me! I drive on for them show them I am strong and I can do anything I set my heart to! I am a dreamer, believer and achiever and I will always stay positive no matter the hardships and keep driving on! Thank you for launching the drive on campaign I know it has changed my life and many others! I hope to be an inspiration to the girls to follow in my girls golf footsteps!"

Hannah Milano (9) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Fort Myers, FL

"I would like to share about what drives me. The things that drive me and make me who I am are like needing golf clubs to play golf, and needing peanut butter to make a peanut butter sandwich. I need Jesus, my family, and my love of golf to drive and encourage me to reach my goals!

Ever since I could remember, I have been raised up in the Lord and that is an important thing that makes me, me. My walk with Jesus is so strong that even when I play a golf tournament, and I am not playing so well on a certain hole, I know that Jesus is with me. I leave that hole behind me and focus forward to drive on to the next hole and do my best to be successful.

My family encourages me to drive on when I am not feeling good or when something is bothering me. I am very grateful for my loving parents, very kind sister, and my silly dog, Oddie.

I first came to love golf from the stories my dad would tell my sister and I about the golf tournaments he had with my uncles when they were younger. I always wanted to try golf, and was excited when my parents bought me my first set of golf clubs and signed me up for Girls Golf and PGA Jr. Golf. Learning from great coaches and playing with encouraging teammates has inspired me to be like that for others everywhere I go.

I hope I may encourage others by my actions and positive attitude. It is very important to me to be a light for others. My heart is to include and encourage others in all they want to do. After all, everyone needs kindness and people to care."

Vrishti Patel (15) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of West Palm Beach, FL

"I remember when I was young, I got to experience being the 30,000 girls golf member, this event gave me the chance to meet golf celebrities and ambassadors of LPGA-Girls Golf. Not only did this change my life as a golfer, but also as a person in the community. I saw how they helped others and how they worked hard to get there. Being part of the girls golf community has not only driven me to practice and perform better in golf, but in school too. After facing many challenges in these 15 years, I have realized I can't let bad days affect me, I should allow them to push me to work harder and this has been my main motivator. If I have a bad round of golf, I go back to practicing as much as I can and try to find the problem and fix it to better myself for the next tournament. In school, a bad grade shows me what my weaknesses are and how I can help better myself academically. I also enjoy performing in musicals and designing lights for them too. Even the arts can have it's problems, but I can never let this stop me from achieving a great performance. There are many examples of things that drive me to succeed, but without the support of golf, friends, and family I wouldn't have the drive or the motivation to achieve the best."

Ava Sanchez (10) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of San Diego, CA

"Imagine that you are on the 1st tee, everyone is watching you, probably thinking you can't hit the fairway because you are a girl, the pressure is on, you hit a solid shot down the middle but takes a bad bounce. One month later, you are competing in a karate competition, you get last place in your best form. On your first math test in fifth grade, you get a C- which shocks you because you have never gotten a C- and you studied like crazy.

I love golf because it teaches me strong character traits like perseverance (because golf is not easy), integrity (so you don't cheat in life), and confidence (to keep driving on). Sometimes I hit a good shot with a bad bounce. Sometimes that feels great, sometimes horrible, but you can't only dwell on the bad things.

At a karate tournament, I got last place. I wanted to cry because it was my best form in my best division giving it my all, and it wasn't good enough. l was standing in front of the judges trying to forget what happened earlier. This time I got first place and felt proud that I kept driving on. On my next math test, I was very nervous but didn't let that paralyze me. I got an A. I studied a lot, during recess, the weekend, you name it but it was worth it.

Despite all my setbacks, I almost abandoned hope and confidence in myself, then something inside me gave me the resilience to "drive on." Everything I overcame was a powerful lesson and made me a more resourceful person. I learned to take advantage of all my opportunities. l am becoming the type of person that is eager to do more than just enough to get by."

Catherine Seder (10) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Phoenix, AZ

"What Drives Me?

By: Catherine Seder

What drives me in life is the desire to succeed. Success doesn't always mean winning though. To me success is knowing that I did my best and I have no regrets, no matter the outcome.

An example of trying to succeed is when I tried out for the Mesa Young Peoples Orchestra as a fourth grader. I just started learning how to play the violin in my school's orchestra, so auditioning for the Mesa Young Peoples Orchestra was a big leap for me.

I practiced extra hard and when I had a problem, I asked for help from my orchestra teacher. I went to school early and stayed late to work with her to get better. I watched videos to help get the timing of the music right. When my audition came, I was ready. I was the only fourth grader in my school to audition. The audition was scary and I thought my heart was going to explode! All of the hard work paid off. I got 2nd violin section. I couldn't believe I beat 5th and 6th graders! My job was not done yet. I still needed to practice for the big concert! Videos, extra help, more practice is what I did to be ready for the big concert. The orchestra concert went so well, I couldn't go to bed later that night.

As much as I would have loved being in the first violin section, I was not disappointed. I look back to where I started and all of the hard work that I put into preparing for the audition and I realize that I had done my absolute best."



Jaylee Munday (9) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Big Apple, NY

"What Drives Me?

I have a little sister named Kensie. She is 4 years old which is 5 years younger tha n me. Let me introduce her, she has brown hair, blue eyes, and her favorite color is pink. She loves Barbies and dolls. By the way, my name is Jaylee. I have brown hair, brown eyes and my favorite color is pink. I like to play school, golf, softball, do crafts and dance.

I love being a big sister. One of the things that I like to do with her is to play with her. I love to play school with her. She just started Pre-K, so I love to teach her things that she needs to know for school.

Since my sister is younger than me, she looks up to me. I love when she looks up to me, but at times it could be trouble. For example when I was in a bad mood, I slammed the door shut. The next day she slammed the door shut when she was in a bad mood. It made me realize that my sister is watching and copying what I do. Being a big sister is much bigger responsibility than I thought it would be.

I've learned that I have to control my temper, work harder and to try not to yell. She is looking up to me and I do not want her to copy my bad actions.

I want to be a good person. I want to be the best I can for myself. However, being a big sister drives me to be even a better person. I have realized that I am her role model and I have the ability to make her be a better person too!"

Selam Olson (13) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Cromwell, CT @ The First Tee

"What drives me

What drives me is people telling me I can't.

All my life I was told I couldn't do things for various reasons. I was adopted from Ethiopia when I was around 3 years old, and when I came, I didn't know much English and wasn't very good in school. My mom was told many times that I would probably never be as smart as the other kids and that I wouldn't be very good in English. But I worked hard, and when I was 8 years old, I took an IQ test that showed I was in the top 3% in language arts. I am still the best reader in my class.

When I came to America, I was very sick. I was malnourished and had an immune disorder that I still fight to this day. I was told by a doctor that I probably wasn't going to be strong enough to do sports. Sure enough, I got healthy and now I have qualified for national state games in figure skating and got chosen for the all-star team for the PGA Jr League and was the only girl that made it.

Often being the only girl at golf events has had me face boys, dads and coaches questioning my abilities, and instead of backing down I worked hard and proved them wrong. Even when I fail, it just forces me to try harder.

This summer I met a few boy golfers that were much better than me and instead of not trying I worked almost every day and passed most of them and got much closer to some of them.

Can't is not a word in my vocabulary, nor do I intend to use it, because I can do anything--no matter what."

Cameron Spellman (15) - LPGA*USGA Girls Golf of Central, FL

"Drive on means more to me than the typical teenager. It's a life plan and so much more than a short term goal. When I started preschool, my teacher noticed I had a problem communicating. At first, everyone thought I was slow to talk, but by first grade I was diagnosed with a speech and learning disability. It wasn't until the past few years that I have finally been able to grasp my potential as both a scholar and golfer.

As a result of my tough start, I ended up repeating first grade and receiving special services. Being diagnosed at such a young age gave me the opportunity to receive assistance to begin the work to overcome my disabilities. By 4th grade my speech improved and speech services were no longer needed. Today, most people don't realize I used to struggle. It took several more years before I was able to overcome dyslexia by not only reaching but exceeding grade level for reading comprehension and fluency. Today my GPA is 3.8 and I plan on attending college, an unheard of dream for many that struggle as profoundly as I did.

Because I loved the game and wanted to excel, I decided golf was worth pursuing. Just as with any other goal I tackle, I gave golf my drive-on focus. I went from shooting over 100 and coming in last place to winning the US Kids Orlando Tour.

My whole life has been centered around "Drive On". Overcoming my disabilities was a difficult challenge but was the foundation that taught me the importance of hard work and never giving up. Today, I'm a leader, honor roll student, founder of the school debate club, and captain of the varsity golf team. Life has taught me anything is possible if you Drive On!"