Teammates think of her as “Fandogg.” But to the rest of the college golf world, she is junior Fany Schaeffer, the decorated leader of the USF women’s golf team.
“Fandogg” is all bite for the Bulls, known for her aggressiveness on the golf course. In fact, eight-year women’s coach Susan Holt used to want her to tone it down, “to play more conservative.” But her aggressiveness has earned Schaeffer her fame and the Conference USA Player of the Month for October after her first place finish in the October 2001 Beacon Woods tournament.
“She (Schaeffer) is an awesome player,” said teammate Kelly Martin. “She is an attacking player, and she can make up for a bad shot and get out of trouble.”
This proved to be true in the Beacon Woods tournament, where Schaeffer led the Bulls to a second place finish and rallied from five shots back to hit a three-under-par 69.
Schaeffer has her father to thank for her athletic success and for starting her off early in a country focused on intellect, not athletic ability. She is from Strasbourg, France, and she started fishing, water skiing, and playing tennis and golf with her father, one of USF’s golf and tennis teams’ biggest supporters.
French schools did not have sports teams of any kind, so Schaeffer had to rely on her weekend time to train.
“I did it with my dad on my side,” she said. In fact, Schaeffer moved to the States to compete on a collegiate level, starting first at Southern Alabama University, then selecting USF to play on a highly competitive team.
Schaeffer also set the example for her younger sister.
Fifteen-year-old Jade Schaeffer is preparing in France to become a golfer and is likely to follow the same course as her older sister.
But Schaeffer didn’t just play golf. She used to be a volleyball player, until she dislocated her shoulder five times and had to undergo surgery.
“After that, all contact sports were forbidden,” she said.
In spite of the surgery, Schaeffer remains the best offensive player on the team. She makes a lot of birdies with her “go for it” attitude.
And her attitude isn’t the only trait noticed.
“She has a tremendous work ethic and sets a good example as far as discipline goes,” said coach Holt. “You have to have that spirit to push yourself.”
“Golf is so much about personality,” Holt said.And Schaeffer has plenty of that off the course as well. For fun, she likes to cook, go to movies and party with fellow golf teammate and buddy Jill Crowe.
But the fun stuff won’t keep Schaeffer from losing her focus to go for it all after college: the pro tour. Schaeffer plans to make the qualifying school for the LPGA or Futures Tour.
“Schaeffer has all the tools necessary, physically and mentally, to succeed in the pros,” Holt said.
Schaeffer’s attitude is exemplified by a never-say-die mentality and a strong desire to succeed.
“I don’t want to be 40 and think back that I didn’t give it a try,” Schaeffer said. “I want to try.”
- Contact Mary Goodman at email@example.com