When 11-year-old Sophia Macias didn’t see a space for local girls her age to connect over golf, she created one.
Sophia started her organization No Worries Just Birdies in 2018 to raise awareness about girls’ and women’s golf while also making an impact in the community. This year, Sophia received the Peggy Kirk Bell Award from the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation, an international honor given to a person who demonstrates philanthropy and inspiration through efforts on and off the golf course.
“My incentive is to show people that little things can make a huge difference,” Sophia says. “I was speechless and very excited to know that I had been picked out of entries from around the whole world. It inspires me to do even greater things.”
Already, Sophia’s nonprofit hosts all-girls golfing clinics, children’s golfing tournaments, basketball tournaments and other fundraising events for local schools and organizations. With the help of her family and community, the Episcopal School student has raised funds to provide air conditioning for the Live Oak Middle School gym, build playground equipment for special needs children at South Walker elementary school, and provide 20 pairs of golfing shoes and golf clubs to local nonprofit Black Kids Golf, Inc.
Outside of her charity, Sophia is a busy middle school athlete. She has competed in national and world championships from Texas to Florida. The Denham Springs native was ranked No. 66 in the 2018 U.S. Kids Golf World Championship, and works daily to maintain and strengthen her competitiveness. When she’s not running cross country after school, she spends most of her free time perfecting her craft on the green at Greystone Country Club. She practices with her father one to three hours a day, improving her swing, increasing her stamina and troubleshooting different golf shots around the course.
“When I first started playing, I didn’t have a lot of golf friends around here,” Sophia says. “I wanted someone to relate to. But now that there’s more girls wanting to play, I feel proud and happy I get to empower them.”
Practice isn’t always easy. But Sophia wouldn’t trade the game for anything. She fell in love with the skill and patience golf requires. She has been playing since she was 7 and dreams of landing a women’s golf scholarship to Stanford University, where she hopes to pursue a degree in botany.
But no matter what the future holds, she sees herself as a golfer for life. Find No Worries Just Birdies on Facebook.