In May 1981 Tammy Mahar finished her freshman year of college. In
January 2004 she returned for her sophomore year. In the
intervening decades she married a club pro and raised two
daughters. She also became a three-handicap player with a
personal-best round of 66. Now the 41-year-old mom from Ashland,
Ky., has dodged the empty-nest syndrome by accepting a
scholarship to play golf at Marshall, 20 miles away in West
Virginia, while she majors in communications and public
relations. Besides the demands of motherhood, schoolwork and
golf, Mahar has had to fit in with teammates half her age, but
she's exceedingly grateful for the chance. "I always wondered how
I would do at this level of competition," she says. "It shows
that you should never give up on your dreams."
TWO COLOR PHOTOS: PHOTOGRAPHS BY RICH FRISHMAN
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPHS BY RICH FRISHMAN CLASS ACT College seems like a lot more work to Mahar the second timearound, although she admits that she wasn't as focused on doingwell in class back in the early 1980s. The other big difference:"I'm getting used to listening to rap music."
FIVE COLOR PHOTOS: PHOTOGRAPHS BY RICH FRISHMAN FAMILY GAME 1. Despiter her own commitments Tammy focuses on her daughters.Here she and Melissa, 22, cheer on Brandi, 16. 2. The Mahar womenstudy together. At some point all three of them will be incollege simultaneously. 3. Tammy rebounds for Brandi, a highschool junior. Marshall allows Tammy to miss tournaments toattend Brandi's games. 4. Tammy says goodbye to her husband andswing coach, Rich, at Sandy Creek, the course they own. (Theylive above the pro shop.) 5. To keep up with teammates, Tammydoes extra workouts.
FIVE COLOR PHOTOS: PHOTOGRAPHS BY RICH FRISHMAN ROAD TRIP 1. When it's time to iron uniforms, the mom in Tammy emerges. 2.Otherwise, she tries to be just another teammate, even getting inon a late-night putting session when the team travels to Tampafor the 18th Annual Snowbird Classic. 3. and 4. At the two-dayevent, Tammy shot 82-76, not great for her but good enough for14th overall. 5. Afterward Tammy shares a happy moment withAllyson Hatcher, who finished fifth. Marshall also came in fifthas a team.