Canadian LPGA Tour hopeful Selena Costabile takes tips from ex-NFLers


Pro-am rounds can be a fun opportunity for serious golf fans to meet their favourite players and for the golfers to get some extra practice in ahead of that week’s tournament.

But for Canadian golfer Selena Costabile and former NFL players Josh Scobee and Marcus Pollard it was a chance to get into the intricacies of the athlete’s mindset. The trio were grouped together for the pro-am on Tuesday ahead of the Epson Tour’s Atlantic Beach Classic and got into a lengthy discussion as they made their way around the course.

Costabile, who is from Thornhill, Ont., and Scobee bonded over the similarities between being a golfer and a placekicker.

“Because you really just have one shot to perform,” said Costabile. “He was giving me a lot of insights about how you have to have two different mindsets. One is in practice, and then once you get in to a competition or the tournament, on the course or on the football field, whatever that may be, you have to almost switch to more of a performance mindset.

“Trying to just get the ball between the posts is similar to trying to get the ball in the hole and do that as best as you can while not really thinking about the mechanical side of it.”

Scobee was a kicker on the Jacksonville Jaguars for 11 seasons before being traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015 and then spending a couple of months with the New Orleans Saints in 2016 before retiring the next year. He connected on 80.1 per cent of his field-goal attempts and 98.2 per cent of his extra-point attempts for a total of 1,046 points.

‘How versus where’

He said that he developed his “how and where” approach about six years into his career.

“I told her what I’ve always tried to do — and it’s not always easy — but what I tried to do was to separate practice from the games,” said Scobee. “Practice is where you’re trying to figure out how to do it. You’re working on your technique, and little things that you practice to be ready for the game or a tournament or whatever.

“Then separating that from where to hit it, or where to kick it whenever I was playing. So I told her it’s the how versus the where, how to do it versus where to hit it.”

Pollard was a tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons over 14 seasons, catching 40 touchdowns and over 4,280 receiving yards. Although Pollard didn’t have much to add to Scobee and Costabile’s conversation on mechanics, the kicker said he had a lot to say about mindset in general.

“It’s fun to get in front of other athletes that play different sports and go around the table and talk about what we all thought about or how we prepared,” said Scobee, “It all basically comes back to the same things and that’s the beauty of sports.”

Costabile said the conversation came at a good time for her because she has missed two cuts to start the Epson Tour season.

“I’m trying to work on leaving all the work of the off-season in the off-season and trusting that I did the work and now I just have to go out to play,” said Costabile.

A football player points.
Scobee, seen above in 2012, said kickers and golfers must share a similar mindset. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Thibault not satisfied with made cuts

She’ll be joined by Kate Johnston of Ayr, Ont., and Brigitte Thibault of Rosemere, Que., in the field at Atlantic Beach Country Club.

Thibault, in her first full season on the Epson Tour, made the cut at the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic on March 8 and again at the IOA Golf Classic on March 15. She said she was happy with those results because her ball striking has not been up to its usual standard.

“To be honest, the focus hasn’t been on cuts because you’re trying to win it so it’s been more annoying in that sense,” said Thibault. “But I’m still excited because to start the season the top 50 women’s golfers in the world were in Asia so the first three Epson Tour events were probably the strongest fields we’re getting the whole year.

“To be able to really not feel like you have your game and still fight and put those scores up, I’m extremely proud of that.”

The 25-year-old said that her focus this off-season has been to focus on the natural motion of her swing.

“I’m diving more into my creative side and more into my given talent and working with that instead of trying to fit into a box,” said Thibault. “I’ve been more of a sponge, going into tournaments and seeing what tendencies show up with adrenalin instead of being so technical, because I had really tried to fit into a box with a certain swing and it looked better but then I kind of lost a bit of lag there.”

LPGA Tour

Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., is the top-ranked Canadian heading into this week’s Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship.

She is fifth on the Race to CME Globe season standings, having finished in the top 10 in three of her first four tournaments of the year.

Rookie Savannah Grewal (29th) of Mississauga, Ont., Hamilton’s Alena Sharp, and Maude-Aimée Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., are also in the field at Palos Verdes Golf Club in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.

Meanwhile, Golf Canada announced on Wednesday afternoon that Mississauga Golf and Country Club would host the CPKC Women’s Open Aug. 18-24, 2025.

It’s the first time the national women’s championship has been in the Greater Toronto Area since 2019 when Magna Golf Club hosted it in Aurora, Ont.

PGA Tour

Nick Taylor is 11th in the FedEx Cup standings heading into this week’s Valspar Championship. Adam Hadwin, who is also from Abbotsford, B.C., won the Valspar in 2017 and is No. 30 in the points list.

Five other Canadians are in the field at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Fla., including Mackenzie Hughes (71st) of Dundas, Ont., Adam Svensson (72nd) of Surrey, B.C., Ben Silverman (88th) of Thornhill, Ont., Taylor Pendrith (93rd) of Richmond Hill, Ont., and Roger Sloan (201st) of Merritt, B.C.



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