Amanda Dixon had a difficult decision to make last year. Unhappy with her situation in the women’s golf program at Wilmington College, she felt she had to quit the golf team or transfer to a school where she could play golf. She had spent too much time perfecting her golf game to give it up.
“I think I’d like to go out west,” she told her parents, Tom and Jane. She had gotten a taste of the west a few years ago when she qualified for the national finals of high school rodeo which were held in Farmington, N.M. The Dixons scanned the Internet for schools where Amanda might be able to play golf, got into the family car and headed west to Oklahoma and Texas. They visited three schools, and Amanda settled on Northwestern Oklahoma State, an NAIA school in the small town of Alva, Okla.
“I felt at home because of the coach and the agriculture program,” Dixon recalled after winning the Dayton Women’s Amateur Golf Championship June 24 at Wildwood Golf Club in Middletown. One of her majors is agriculture. Dixon had an excellent junior year at the Oklahoma school. She was medalist in seven of the team’s 10 matches.
“I kinda like it out there,” she said. There’s better deer huntin’ out there.” Dixon, who plays golf at Snow Hill Country Club in Wilmington, has been involved in the sport since she was a youngster. A few years ago she received a scholarship from Jack Nicklaus at the Memorial Tournament and had her picture taken with him. She also won the Janet Beardsley Junior Tournament in Dayton and received her award from Mrs. Beardsley the last time Janet attended the tournament.
Most of her skills came without any formal instruction, although she presently works with Joel Suggs at Meadow Links Golf Academy in Cincinnati. Rodeo is another of Amanda’s passions. The Dixon family has a couple of horses at their rural home near Hillsboro and Amanda has been riding them and participating in rodeos since she was a youngster.
“I do a lot of team roping,” she said, explaining that two people on horseback collaborate as the “header” and “heeler” in roping steers. She made the national high school rodeo finals three times for her proficiency in goat-tying and breakaway roping.
When her dad asked her how she was able to complete the procedure, she replied, ‘I’ve seen you do it enough times.”