Fresno Golf Teaching Pro Cindy Vining Makes History at the Masters

April 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Knowledgeable but soft-spoken, and strict but kind, Cindy Vining's presence at River Park Golf Center has been a constant for the last 14 years.

"I just feel very fortunate. I love what I do and I love to teach the kids," said Vining.

But this week, Vining will make history, trading in the River Park Range for the world's most prestigious golf tournament: The Masters.

"It's my favorite tournament," Vining admitted. "We went in January so here I am walking down the middle of the fairways in Augusta going 'Holy cow! This is awesome!' It's a bucket list."

Vining's longtime student, Clovis West grad and current Cal star Michael Weaver, qualified for the Masters by finished second at last year's U.S. Amateur. And now Vining will become one of the first females allowed inside the ropes at Augusta National, a private club that only admitted females as members last year.

"Women haven't necessarily been out at Augusta that much, so I don't know how many PGA pros work with a female swing coach," said Vining. "I don't think there's probably too many so yeah, I might be one of the few. So it's very exciting that way."

Her star pupil Weaver agrees.

"For her as my coach I think it's like the pinnacle for her, where she coached someone to this point," said Weaver by phone from Augusta, Georgia. "For her I think that's got to be extremely satisfying."

Her students credit her teaching for making big strides in their games, starting with 14-year olds who just started playing four months ago.

"People know everything about her," said Buchanan freshman Kyle MacFarland. "She's a kind-hearted person and just a great coach."

And it continues to seasoned amateurs looking to turn pro in a year's time.

"I just really trust her," said Weaver. "We've been together for so long. She's helped me get to where I am so I know that what she's teaching me is working."

And now it's time for Vining to take some of her own advice: Just take it all in and enjoy the moment.


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