By BRANDEE BRITT
IOWA CITY, Iowa — When it comes to University of Iowa senior Jessie Sindlinger’s family, the word competitive tends to be an understatement.
Sindlinger’s father, Mark, was a two-sport athlete at Iowa, competing in both football (1983-86) and wrestling (1985-88). In a span of five years, Mark Sindlinger was the starting center for the 1985 Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl football team, and a two-time Big Ten champion and All-American in wrestling. Julie Sindlinger — Jessie’s mother — competed in track and field at Northern Iowa.
So for Jessie Sindlinger, it was never a matter of deciding if she wanted to compete at the collegiate level, it was a matter of narrowing down which sport she was most passionate about.
“I knew I wanted to compete, because I grew up around athletics,” she said. “I just didn’t know what sport I was going to do until I was nine. After that, I worked hard to pursue my golf game.”
About eight years and hundreds of rounds of golf later, Sindlinger’s decision on where to attend college came down to the two places — Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa — but it was her love for the Hawkeyes that drew her to Iowa City.
“Competing in the Big Ten and being a Hawkeye fan my entire life helped my decision,” said Sindlinger. “I kind of always wanted to be at Iowa. It was always a dream growing up, so when Iowa called it was pretty cool.”
From the time she arrived on campus in 2013 until she finished her senior season this year, Sindlinger competed in every tournament for the Hawkeyes. This season, she posted a career-best 54-hole score of 216 (E) at the Westbrook Spring Invitational on Feb. 26-27.
Sindlinger’s collegiate career may have come to an end at the Big Ten Championships in Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 23, but her time on the golf course is far from over. The Charles City, Iowa, native will be the assistant coach at Northern Iowa next year, and will earn her PGA Card in order to be an assistant golf professional at Pheasant Ridge Golf Course.
“Iowa has taught me so much,” said Sindlinger. “Being here has taught me how to be an assistant coach, how to be around teams, and how to help people out when they need it. The people I’ve met through traveling, (UI head) coach (Megan) Menzel, and (assistant coach) Mike (Roters) have been great resources.
“I’ve learned a lot about the game, how to set up a practice, what we need to work on, and how to analyze stats. It will be beneficial to bring the knowledge I’ve learned my last four years to another program.”
While Sindlinger will have to trade her black and gold for purple next season, she remains forever grateful for her time as an Iowa Hawkeye.
“I never realized how many Iowa fans were around the country,” Sindlinger said. “Everywhere we went there were Hawkeye fans. It has been cool to represent Hawkeye nation. Wearing the Tigerhawk is something I’ll cherish forever, because I know I’m part of something much bigger than myself.”