When asked to give a fun fact, some people freeze up. They genuinely think about what makes them interesting and different. Some people, modest or not, may not have a quick response. But Anna Redding does, and it’s the ultimate fun fact for anyone who loves the game. Redding was the first female to ever hit a competitive tee shot at Augusta National Golf Club.
In 2019, at the inaugural playing of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur (ANWA), Redding was one of 30 athletes to advance from the first two rounds, held at Champions Retreat Golf Club, to compete for the title at the famous course that’s the home of The Masters.
“It’s my most talked about fun fact that I have, and it’s a pretty fun fact,” said Redding. “Just like The Masters, they have ceremonial first tee shots. Annika Sorenstam was there, Nancy Lopez, Se Ri Pak, and Lorena Ochoa, so they teed off in front of me. There were like 10,000 people there watching them, and then they’re like ‘Now driving, Anna Redding.’ It was as many people as I’ve ever had around me hitting a golf shot. Everyone was standing around me, and I was shaking. Everyone around me kind of went crazy because it’s historic.”
When talking about the experience four years later, Redding could not stop smiling. She reminisced on having her friends and family there, which made the already incredible experience that much better. If there’s one thing she could say to current and future participants, it’s to take it ALL in.
“The one thing I would say is to soak it all in,” said Redding. “Everyone there was incredible and were asking what they can do to help the experience, and I was like, ‘I’m here, I’m enjoying it.’ Everything was perfect, so soak it all in. For me, especially with turning professional later that summer, it was my one opportunity to be there. Some of the younger girls will play it multiple times, but for some, it will be a one-time thing, so enjoy it. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself and just enjoy it – you’re playing Augusta National; not many people will ever be able to say that.”
While the future of women’s golf is teeing it up at Augusta National this week, Redding will be chasing her dreams on the Epson Tour at the Casino Del Sol Golf Classic in Tucson, Arizona. She tees off in pursuit of the 2023 title at 8:39 am PT on Thursday.