VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A young woman from Arizona made history in college athletics this week when she teed off at Plantation Bay in Ormond Beach.
Amy Bockerstette, 22, is the first collegiate athlete with Down syndrome to compete for a championship while playing in the NJCAA Women’s Golf Championship along with her Paradise Valley Community College teammates.
“I’m happy to see my teammates in the nationals. It’s fun to see them,” Bockerstette said.
Her nickname is “Amazing Amy.” She’s breaking barriers this week, but more importantly to her, she’s traveling from Phoenix alongside her teammates and making friends.
“She’s usually the focal point personality-wise and the team rallies around her and she treats the team like they’re all her best friends,” Bockerstette’s coach Matt Keel said.
Keel said Amy brings the spirit to the team.
“She’s a great player. She has a fantastic swing, she hits the ball well,” he said.
The school’s athletic director Christina Hundley added how well she plays.
“Everybody really rallies behind her and in doing so, she has them rallying with each other,” Hundley said.
Bockerstette’s dad, Joe, is always by her side on the course, helping to coach her along.
“It’s so fun to be out on the course with your daughter playing golf like this, helping her make decisions. It’s hard work and dad’s goal is to not cost Amy any shots,” he said.
Amy went viral in a video in 2019, when her confidence caught the attention of pro golfer Gary Woodland during a practice hole at the Waste Management Open. Before Amy shot she said: “I got this.”
That line is now the name-sake for her foundation. Their mission is to grow the game of golf for those with intellectual disabilities.
“We started the I Got This Golf Academy about six weeks ago, so we’re providing lessons to about 20 individuals with intellectual disabilities,” Joe Bockerstette said.
This way, more players like Amy can have big moments like she did this week.
“Exciting, happy, meeting new people, making new friends,” she said.