MOBIL, AL | In order to be able to play well in golf, you need a lot of intelligence, especially at the professional level. Distances have to be calculated, shots have to be visualized and statistics broken down. Players must find their way around each new course, decide where and how to land, and try to anticipate the idiosyncratic shots that will hit them a few times per round. Not to mention the hard practice, analyzing every movement of a golf swing, finding the right feel to create the right ball flight or spin rate, and the hours spent, stroke after stroke, searching for the unattainable To hit perfection.
With all of the thinking it takes to get the ball into the hole efficiently, you’d think a player would like to give their brain a break from the golf course by watching brain-wrecking reality TV or scrolling through social media. But that’s not the case with Selena Costabile. The 23-year-old Canadian spends her time immersing herself in the subtleties of foreign languages.
âI speak English, French and Russian fluently, also Spanish and then Japanese, I’m middle school,â says Costabile about her hobby. âI still take classes and try to keep up all year round. I speak four fluently and then learn, still learn one, so (I can speak) five. Learning languages ââis actually very therapeutic and calming, I would say. “
Anyone else would be content to know a few sentences in another language, let alone be five languages. But Costabile isn’t a one-trick pony. Not only is she an avid reader, but also a classically trained pianist who has been playing for almost two decades and specializes in the classical genre. While many musicians say that they hear melodies in their head during their daily activities, Costabile does not have Beethoven’s âMoonlight Sonataâ or Mozart’s âRequiemâ repeated during the course, but instead concentrates on the task at hand.
“I still play the piano as much as I can,” she said. âThis year I actually couldn’t go home for four or five months, so I couldn’t play the piano. But I just moved to Florida so hopefully I’ll buy a piano and keep practicing. I love to play classical music. I grew up listening to classical music and have never really changed the genre of music that I play. It’s just very calming and therapeutic. So when I have an off-season I’ll try to learn some new pieces.
âI meditate, so my meditation music is something like calming classical music, so I am still trying to keep that type of melody in my head. But when I play I concentrate pretty much on getting my strokes out here. “
Surprisingly, Costabile skipped the traditional college golf route, turned pro a year after graduating from high school, and pursued her goal of playing on the LPGA Tour. While she is now taking courses at Queen’s University with a matching Major in Global Studies, golf is still a top priority and she is as committed as ever to making her dreams come true, even if it puts her education on hold for a while is placed.
âI’m actually in school now. I take classes online at Queen’s University. It’s a university in Canada. I’m almost 40% done with my degree. I’m slowly breaking off from it. Not really a priority. I took the summer semester off to focus on golf and then maybe I’ll take a few winter courses in the New Year. “
In 2021, Costabile had its first full season as a member of the Symetra Tour, and while it didn’t go as planned with 11 missed cuts in 15 starts, she hasn’t got it on her mind. Fighting for status isn’t an ideal situation for every professional, but Costabile has graduated from Q-School and is armed with plenty of experience as she battles her way through a grueling two-week stretch in Southern Alabama.
âI learned a lot about myself this year and how I can prepare for events, what works for me and what doesn’t work for me,â she said. âTo be honest, I think I’m pretty new to this. That’s okay. I never made it into the Q-Series but played Stage II twice and Stage II three times so I’m used to the Q-School experience. I just have to stay calm and that is the main thing. “
In two rounds, Costabile carded a 67 and a 69 on the Falls and Crossings Courses at Magnolia Grove with just two bogeys in two days. She is currently in fifth place ahead of the weekend and considering there are 108 holes left to play, Costabile is doing everything in her power to stay calm, composed, and collected, a strategy that seems to be working well so far.
âI just treat it like a normal tournament. For me, I try to think that every round is just a round of golf and I try my best on every round. I honestly just think about what I want to do during the day and my schedule and then, however I end, I end. “