Smokin’ Joe Gets The Big Break with Shannon Fish
See her on The Golf Channel’s competition reality show The Big Break. Today she’s here at Smokin’ Joe’s Driving Range…Shannon Fish.
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Current Residence: Spring, Texas
Hometown: Spring, Texas
Home Course: Champions Golf Club
College: University of Texas
Profession: Professional Golfer
Shannon Fish grew up in a golf family. Her grandfather, a scratch golfer, and her mother, a veteran of mini tours, introduced her to the game when she was a toddler. She jokes that she has pictures as a baby toting around plastic golf clubs and taking them to the course every weekend when her parents would go play.
She also had influence from two legends in Texas – Hall-of-Famer Jackie Burke and the late swing instructor Dick Harmon.
“Mr. Burke was an acquaintance of my grandfather’s and has been a longtime friend of the family,” said Fish. “When I was growing up, I took lessons from Mr. Harmon from the time he was at River Oaks Country Club until he was at Redstone Golf Club with Charlie Epps.”
Golf came naturally to Fish. She competed all through high school, earning scholarship offers to the several top Division I schools, including the University of Texas and Stanford. Determined to stay close to home, she accepted a full scholarship to UT, where she excelled all four years of college.
Unlike the majority of her competitors on Big Break Atlantis, however, she had no intentions of turning professional. She wanted to study law.
“I earned my degree in government in 2010, and was preparing to continue my education in Law. I wanted to be a lawyer. Even now, I still want to be an attorney. That dream is still alive.”
For six months after graduation, she was studying for the LSAT to apply to law school. Professional golf was not on Fish’s radar. During this time, she also was doing a lot of soul searching to determine if Law is what she wanted to do and what path she needed to follow. It was then that a close family friend, gave her a book to read – “It’s Your Time” – written by famous pastor Joel Osteen.
“I was reading this book and had an epiphany,” said Fish. “Something just hit me said, ‘Shannon, professional golf is what you need to do.’ When this feeling came over me, it was just so profound that strong. I knew that was the direction I needed to go at this point in my life.”
She recalled that the epiphany came over her while reading chapters pertaining raising your expectations and realizing that your best days are in front of you.
“In challenging times, it might be hard to see better days ahead,” said Fish. “But in reading those chapters, it all just came together for me. This was exactly the moment I decided to put my faith in God into action in my life, and give control of my life to Him so that I could find fulfillment in His plans for me.”
She immediately phoned her mother and father and discussed her revelation with them. Her parents gave her their unconditional support. For Shannon, the support her family gave her legitimized her decision that would change the course of her life for the next several years.
She came to this decision in early 2011. In June of that year, she turned professional.
She competed on the Cactus Tour in 2011, looking to justify her decision to see if she was good enough to play on the professional circuit. Her success was instantaneous.
Fish recorded four top-4 finishes on the Cactus Tour in her first six events, her confidence building each and every week.
It was at a Cactus Tour event in 2011 that the opportunity to audition for Big Break presented itself. The series was conducting open auditions, when one of the show’s producers approached her about auditioning for Big Break.
“I thought, sure, why not. I have nothing to lose, so I gave it my best shot.
“And suddenly, here I am.”
After she was cast on the series, word got back to Burke that she was a contestant.
“He smiled and said that I have what it takes to go out there and win,” recalled Fish. “He offers me so much advice about my golf game, and especially my putting, since he is one of the best putters of all-time. He definitely looks out for me. I always will take his advice to heart and treasure.”
With a Hall-of-Famer in her corner, Shannon Fish just might be the one to beat on Big Break Atlantis.