Sophia Schubert soars on the LPGA Tour and beyond |  LPGA

Sophia Schubert soars on the LPGA Tour and beyond | LPGA

NAPLES, FLA | At the beginning of 2022, Sophia Schubert was looking for a hobby. She wasn’t looking for anything specific, just something to distract herself from golf. Walk in, Top Gun: Maverick.

“It’s not something I wanted to do,” Schubert said of his adventures in the sky. “My boyfriend and I went to see Upper gun. I was like, ‘You know what, I was looking for a hobby outside of golf, something to distract me. So, I might as well try that. It looks fun.

So – just like that – Schubert began learning to fly a plane at McGhee Tyson Airport, just 20 minutes from her home in Knoxville, Tennessee. Schubert has been flying for five months now, mostly in small two-seaters like a Cessna 152, and says she’s mastered the flying part.

“I took off the very first time I got on the plane for my first lesson,” Schubert said with a smile. “I didn’t land, that’s the scary thing. Piloting isn’t that hard, but it’s the whole ground school and the books that are the hardest.

Still a rookie, Schubert said she only goes out in perfect weather, so she didn’t get any scares in the air. She loves everything about flying so far, besides talking to air traffic control.

“I think the adrenaline of taking off (is my favorite part),” Schubert said. “Being at the controls of an airplane and then being able to look down, it’s really special to be up there and do that.

“The scariest part was when my instructor said, ‘You have to call the tower and tell them what we’re doing. I was like, ‘No, I don’t want to do this yet. I do not know what to say.'”

Schubert plans to get his pilot’s license next year, but had to put his lessons on hold for a month due to his playing schedule – after all, flying is just a hobby.

The rookie had a phenomenal first year on the LPGA Tour, highlighted by a second-place finish in the Amundi Evian Championship. Schubert made his CME Group Tour Championship debut on Thursday, posting an opening round at 4 under with five birdies and just one bogey.

“It was a great day,” Schubert said as he exited the 18th green Thursday. “I’m just excited to be here. Go in with the mindset that you’ve achieved your goal of reaching CME as a rookie, so have fun. That’s what we did.”

Schubert’s ultimate goal is to get to a tournament, just like Arnold Palmer and Peggy Kirk Bell once did. Clearly, Schubert is far from piloting across the country herself. She still has to get that pilot’s license and then she has to buy a plane.

Bringing home the $2 million winner’s check on Sunday would go a long way toward getting that plane. Then all she will have to do is learn how to land it.

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