Lufkin alum doubles as LHS substitute teacher, pro golfer

Maria Mejia, Panther Growls staff member

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Hannah Arnold, a former Lufkin High School and Texas Tech University golfer, is serving as a substitute teacher at LHS during her down time from the pro golf tour. (Photo by BRY’DALLIAN GILYARD/Lufkin High School Fang Yearbook)

Hannah Arnold is a long driver — in more ways than one.

Arnold, a 2010 Lufkin High School graduate, doubles as a substitute teacher and professional golfer, so she’s on the road a lot.

“During golf season, it’s common for me to drive anywhere from 14 to 26 hours to my next event,” she said.

Arnold said it’s not especially difficult balancing the two jobs.

“As long as I make a practice plan for the week, I can work on whatever I need to,” she said.

Arnold played her college golf at Texas Tech University.

“I had dreams of being a professional golfer in high school, but my goal first was to go to college and earn a degree,” she said.

Arnold began playing golf when she was about 2.

“My dad introduced me to golf and would take me to the course to play,” she said.

Arnold credited golf instructors Bob Diamond and Kevin Kinsey with teaching her how to play.

“I am an extremely self-motivated person, and my parents didn’t have to push me to do anything,” Arnold said. “I wanted to be good at everything I participated in.

“I make goals, and when I complete tasks, I do something else. I have a practice schedule each day, and the hours I put in each day vary, depending on how long it takes me to finish my work.”

Arnold has practiced alongside professional golfer Sam Fidone, who is also a Lufkin native.

“I would not be the golfer I am today if not for the group of players I grew up playing with at Crown (Colony Country Club in Lufkin),” she said.

Hannah Arnold is seen during Round 1 of the 2017 Ladies Tshwane Open at Zwartkop Country Club on Jan. 31, 2017, in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by PETRI OESCGHER/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images)

Arnold now works with Ben Burns, the head golf pro at Crown Colony. She recommended him for anyone who needs help with their game. She also works with “mental coaches” Tim Kremer in Cleveland and Nick Dunn in Dallas.

“I have a big team, and each person adds great insight to helping reach my goals,” she said.

Arnold is scheduled to play on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in January in South Africa.

She said the hardest part about golf for some people is that it’s an individual sport. Although there are teams at the high school and college levels, a golfers’ individual tournament scores are based on their performance in four rounds.

“That’s why golf is the ultimate individual and team sport,” Arnold said. “Unfortunately, for women, no matter what sport you choose, it’s generally male-dominated. The pay gap in any sport can be seen. However, I think the tide is beginning to turn with more women getting recognized for their talents. People like Serena Williams and Alex Morgan are making it possible for women to get the recognition they deserve in their respected sports.”