Like the majority of student-athletes in America, Haley Dunn is studying to get her degree. She already has enjoyed a successful collegiate career culminating in being named All-American as a member of the Dixie State women’s golf team this spring. She will be graduating in the spring with a bachelor’s degree in integrated studies with an emphasis on marketing and communications. More than just a student and athlete at Dixie State University, Dunn stands as a role model for young women, demonstrating that golf is more than a sport; it’s a stepping stone towards being successful both personally and professionally.
Growing up in Layton, Utah, Dunn was introduced to the game by her father. He first gave her a putter to practice with and from there moved farther away from the practice green, enabling her to learn the essentials of the game first. She then moved on to the Swan Lakes junior golf program near Layton where she received her first set of clubs from U.S. Kids Golf. This is where she initiated herself into competitive golf. As a junior competitor, she was always told that her scores were too low, so she had to move back a set of tee boxes. After a successful junior golf start, she started playing Utah Junior Golf Association events in eighth grade and thrived throughout her high school career.
Dunn wasn’t completely sold on playing golf. In fact, she loved to ski competitively in high school and also was a football and basketball cheerleader. Initially, she wanted to pursue cheerleading into college, but golf soon became her top sport. She gives praise to her first instructor, Dave Louden, who was the assistant golf professional at Valley View Golf Center in Layton. Louten, coincidentally, was also her high school coach as well. She considers him to have been instrumental in gaining confidence and the ability to compete at a high level, enabling her to play collegiate golf.
After entering college at Utah Valley, she came down to St. George to play a fundraising tournament in 2012. That is when she decided to transfer to Dixie State. The only problem was that women’s golf wasn’t in existence at Dixie State until the year she transferred. Taking a huge risk in transferring to a nonexistent women’s golf program and the foresight to develop a successful women’s golf program at Dixie State exemplifies Haley’s determination and confidence in herself.
When she transferred to Dixie State, her career jumpstarted. During her first year at Dixie State, she won the inaugural Pac-West Tournament. In her final season this spring, she again took home top honors at the Pac-West Tournament as well as at the Super San Diego collegiate tournament. She also qualified for Super Regionals and was consistently ranked in the top 30 this spring, which earned her distinguished honors as an All-American during her final season.
When she isn’t catching an episode of “How I Met Your Mother,” Dunn enjoys the scenery that southern Utah offers. She spends her free time hiking Angels Landing, Adams Canyon, and Snow Canyon. Like any college student, she enjoys time away from the classroom as well as spending time at Dixie Rock enjoying her favorite ice cream from Sub-Zero and working out at Vasa—remember, she is pursuing sponsors for her professional golf career!
Dunn hopes to pursue her professional golf career on the Cactus Tour in Phoenix in 2016. Her current teacher at Entrada, Doug Roberts, is helping Haley to achieve her goal of going professional. While finishing her degree, Dunn still is involved growing Dixie State’s women’s golf program as an assistant coach this year.