Golfers you should know is a new series for Golf Digest Woman in which we profile outstanding female golfers from various walks of life. These people share their experiences learning golf, what they liked and what it cost them, and the tips and products they’ve come to rely on in their golf life. If you have a Peloton, you’re probably familiar with our first track, Selena Samuela.
Selena Samuela is on a quest to break the 90s. The Peloton instructor started golfing when she met her now-husband, who came from a serious golfing family. “She played golf all the time. She was going on golf vacations with her friends, her mother was a club champion, her father is also a club champion. They are very serious. So I thought, Ok, she maybe she should get into this game,” she Samuela said.
Samuela started taking lessons in January 2020. When the world went into lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic a few months later, Samuela realized what many people realized during the lockdown: in the midst of great uncertainty, golf was a safe haven. She began taking lessons at the Westchester Country Club with Gary Weir, who started with the basics.
“My goal was to be able to go out on the golf course and be able to play a full round,” Samuela said.
Samuela was soon hooked. She’s been playing consistently the last two years, and she says that while she’s happy with how far she can hit, she still has work to do in her short game.
“I need to learn how to get zen with my putt. I am concerned about short putts. I swear I make more feet from 8-footers than from 4-footers,” says Samuela.
Samuela is no stranger to new sports. But golf, she says, is the hardest part.
“I decided to run a marathon; I won that marathon. I decided to surf; within a few years I was absolutely shredding, dumping buckets. He wanted to be a boxer; within a few years I was fighting and winning my first fight,” said Samuela. “Sport for me has always been something where I can see results quickly. This is not one of those sports. It’s so challenging. I think that’s why I love it: the challenge is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before in sports. You have to be so humble, so consistent, so determined. You have to keep coming back even though you just jerked off. It destroys your soul, but the only way to improve is to come back despite everything”.
Of all the advice he’s been given during his first two years playing golf, one of his favorites came from Weir.
“My coach says, ‘If you make it look like a golf swing, it will eventually become a golf swing,’” Samuela said. “What I love, it’s like: getting these parts right, getting the cinematic sequence right, moving the body in the right order, making it look good and eventually it will be good.”
Despite diligently working on her game and enjoying a rapid upward trajectory, Samuela has still experienced the occasional slump.
“I’ve had times where I’ve felt like I’ve lost my swing. I throw every ball at him, walk over me. And it’s like, over and over. I had a bout of it for a week and was thinking, ‘Maybe I have to quit because it’s just gone.’ But I didn’t and now I’m back. Learning to be patient in those moments is very important,” said Samuela. “If I’m excited, my body is not going to respond well.”
Samuela only has one regret regarding her golf trip:
“I wish I had started earlier, because then I wouldn’t be worried about trying to break 90 right now.”
Aquaphor Lip Balm with Sunscreen
“I use the Aquaphor lip balm that has sunscreen in it. I always carry it with me,” said Samuela. “It’s not a sexy product, but it’s the best.”
Yellow Bird and Louisiana Hot Sauce
I bring hot sauce with me on the course because they never have hot sauce on these courses and I put hot sauce on everything.
J Lindberg compression shirts
“They’re good with sun protection, which is key for me. They have high necks, which I like because in the sun every day, as a Peloton instructor, I can’t get twisted tan lines and it’s no fun having to go back.” to apply sunscreen all the time. I opt for long sleeves most of the time.”
“Once when I was flying with my clubs and my driver broke down while we were riding. That’s why I bought this to protect my clubs. I love this thing.”
Custom Titleist ProV1
“I love the custom ProV1s. I always call them Aloha22. Aloha because I lived in Hawaii for five years, when you’re on the golf course you want Aloha energy, you want those laid back vibes. I was born on June 22nd so that’s the 22nd. I usually get them in pink print.”