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Member Spotlight: Barbara Schmid

 

Raised in in Sarasota, Florida, long before air conditioning and Title IX, Barbara Schmid could often be found exploring the woods around her neighborhood, pole vaulting over rain-filled ditches with bamboo shoots and playing baseball with the neighborhood boys.

“I still thrive doing anything active in the outdoors to this day,” said Schmid, who was introduced to golf in high school. “My high school sweetheart’s father was a golf teaching pro, which enabled me to learn the game correctly from the time I first held a club. I hit hundreds of wedges before they’d even let me onto the golf course!”

Schmid is forever grateful to that family for opening a window into a sport that would lead to many incredible career opportunities and serve as a competitive outlet. She would go on to earn a bachelor’ s degree in journalism and public relations from Georgia State University.

“While it took 20 years to work my way through college, I managed to forge my own path to success and happiness,” Schmid explained. “It never ceased to amaze me that being a somewhat accomplished female golfer gave me a ‘step up’ in the business world.”

Once a general sports writer and golf columnist for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Schmid also hosted a local sports television series. In the late 80s, she began working for a sports marketing company out of the New York area that managed several professional golf tournaments.

“I was the tournament director for the then Aetna Challenge, a Senior PGA Tour event in Naples, Florida, and also assisted with the company’s other sports properties,” Schmid recalled. “Those experiences allowed me meet some of the greatest golfers in the world.”

In 1994, Schmid also met someone very important: Her husband, Frank, in a plane over Africa.

“I had just finished a primitive backpacking trip across Uganda as part of The Congo Expedition, a sponsored recreation of Henry Morton Stanley’s trip into Africa to find Livingstone,” Schmid said. “During the same timeframe, Frank had taken a sabbatical from his medical practice in Saranac to volunteer in Rwanda with Billy Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse during the massacres there.”

The couple, who today have three children and five grandchildren, began a long-distance relationship (Atlanta to Grand Rapids) that lasted two years before Schmid loaded up a U-Haul and began work as the outdoors editor at the Holland Sentinel.

“We married in 1998 at the site of our first real date: Grand Teton National Park,” said Schmid, noting that since her and Frank met while traveling, it comes as no surprise that travel has been a constant theme throughout their marriage. “We’ve golfed in Ireland, snorkeled in the Galapagos, bicycled through Tuscany, and hiked and fly fished throughout the West.”

The couple joined Egypt Valley in 1999 partly because of its two great courses, but also because of the Club’s progressive vision regarding women, as well as nontraditional memberships.

“As a Club member, I was able to quickly make valuable and lasting friendships in my new hometown,” said Schmid, who is a single member at the Club these days. “While Frank no longer plays golf, I seem to play enough for the two of us! I love the social games with my gal pals and playing in league events as a way to make new friends. The competitor in me comes alive during GAM and USGA tournaments.”

Over the years, Schmid has garnered a wide array of awards and accomplishments, including: Riding her bicycle 3,000 miles across the country from San Diego to St. Augustine in 2007; completing four marathons; being named GAM Senior Women’s Player of the Year in 2005; and boasting five holes-in-one, though only one of them can be attributed to EVCC (Valley 5). She has also been the Egypt Valley Women’s Club Championship winner in 2013, 2017 and most recently 2021, in addition to being the Egypt Valley Senior Women’s Club Championship winner for four consecutive years (2018 – 2021).

Today, Schmid serves on the golf and green committees at Egypt Valley, as well as volunteering as a course rater for GAM. Frank, who joined the Army Reserve Medical Corps in 2003 and served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, retired as Colonel and also from his private medical practice in 2018.

If you see Barbara and Frank around the Club, be sure to say, “Hello!”

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