Record-Breaking Golfer Ingrid Lindblad Solves Puzzles On and Off the Course
May 24, 2022
In this episode, President William F. Tate IV speaks to LSU golfer and junior Ingrid Lindblad, who is the winner of a school record eight collegiate titles. Ingrid recently won LSU’s first individual SEC golf championship in 31 years. Currently, she is the World Amateur Golf Rankings No. 2 golfer, and she just finished tied for third place at the NCAA Championships. Ingrid talks about how school is still her main focus, despite her many athletic achievements and ambitions in the world of golf.
Ingrid Lindblad is a Swedish amateur golfer. She won the 2021 European Ladies Amateur Championship and rose to number 2 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking in August 2020.In her freshman year, she had the best single season scoring average in LSU women's golf history at 70.33. She won two individual tournaments, the Magnolia Invitational and the Florida State Match-Up, in her pandemic-shortened freshman season.Lindblad became the first player in program history to earn Southeastern Conference Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors in the same season.
[00:00:00] President William F. Tate IV: Joining me today is one of the world's best amateur golfers. LSU junior Ingrid Lindblad is the winner of a school record eight collegiate titles. She most recently won LSU's first individual SEC golf championship in 31 years. Currently, she is the World Amateur Golf Rankings number two golfer, and she'll very soon be competing in the NCAA tournament.
[00:00:38] "On Par with the President" is a podcast that highlights LSU community members who are doing great things. A golfer who can play par golf is at the very top of the game. They're the very best of the best. And so the whole point of this podcast is to talk to extraordinary people who are affiliated with LSU. You're originally from Sweden. How did you decide to come to Baton Rouge and LSU for your collegiate academic and golf career?
[00:01:06] Ingrid Lindblad: LSU is one of the schools that I've heard about because Madelene Sagström went through here. And then I knew just that LSU was a good school and it was one of those schools where the Swedish golf team coaches said that you can, you can almost commit there without even, without even visiting, because it's so good. And then I got contacted by the assistant coach, Alexis, and I felt like we had a good conversation and I came for a visit just a couple of weeks later and then decided I want to go here.
[00:01:38] President William F. Tate IV: Wow, that's great to hear. Now, anybody who's played golf knows it takes a lot of time just to play 18 holes, let alone practice for 18 holes or practice to be a performer at the level that you do. And then you have your academic activities. How do you balance all the preparation for golf and the preparation for school?
[00:01:54] Ingrid Lindblad: I think it's a lot of, a lot about time management and practicing when you can practice and doing school when you can do school. So you just got to stay on top of schoolwork when you're away for tournaments and try either do it before you go to tournament and make, or make sure that you can do it after the tournament. But, you know, during the weekends, I try to do both practice and schoolwork. So, I usually try to practice when I can practice and not focus so much about school when I actually practice or play.
[00:02:27] President William F. Tate IV: Understood. So, when did your interest in golf begin?
[00:02:31] Ingrid Lindblad: I started playing when I was five and it was like me, my brothers and my cousins. And my grandma played, my parents played. So she kind of took us to the golf course when we were five. My coach said, "Oh, it's too early. You're not six years old yet, so you can't start because you're only five." We weren't allowed to practice in a group when we were five. But then I started competing. For awhile, it was just over the summer. Just play golf for fun, like over the summers. And then when I was 12 or something, I started competing. And then I got on the national team when I was 16 or 17. So I've kind of been involved with the Swedish golf team for a couple of years.
[00:03:10] President William F. Tate IV: So what moment did you realize that golf was going to be important to you, and this was going to be something you were going to take seriously, not just a hobby or, you know, like a youth sport, but, "I'm going to take this very seriously"?
[00:03:24] Ingrid Lindblad: I think I was 14 or 15. So I did both golf and figure skating when I was younger. And then it kind of got to a point where I couldn't do both because it was just too time-consuming. So, when I was 14, I was like, "Okay, I am pretty good at golf." And then I decided I want to go to a golf high school in Sweden. So we have high schools where we just play sports. All the students at the high school, they're athletes. So, I decided I wanted to go to one of those schools. And then I kind of realized that, you know, I'm kinda good at this and I want to work harder and get better.
[00:03:57] President William F. Tate IV: So I've gotta ask you.
[00:03:59] Ingrid Lindblad: Yeah?
[00:04:00] President William F. Tate IV: Why'd you pass on figure skating?
[00:03:56] Ingrid Lindblad: Well, [laughs] it's a very interesting sport, but I think I learned a lot from figure skating. You can apply a lot of skills from figure skating to golf because it's a lot of rotational things and a lot of power in it. But it was just too time-consuming. We'd practice at weird times.
[00:04:18] President William F. Tate IV: Understood. So as you know, getting to the green is everything. Gotta score. You're studying sports administration. You know, that's your other genius you're trying to develop other than golf. When did you pick up on that field?
[00:04:33] Ingrid Lindblad: Even before I started, I knew I wanted to do something within sports. Like, if I don't play golf, I want to do something that has to do with sports because I've always been-- I always keep up with sports at home and, you know, I keep up with sports overall, not just golf. If I don't do anything as a golf professional, I want to do something within sports. And then I figured, you know, sports admin, it's probably like a good field to study. And then I also think we learn a lot about what's going on outside of just our tournaments. We learn, like, how the events are managed and what's going on outside of the tournament. And it's quite interesting to study that, actually.
[00:05:15] President William F. Tate IV: So how does your experience as an athlete inform your studies in sports administration and does anything in sports administration help you think about your role as an athlete?
[00:05:27] Ingrid Lindblad: I do. So, this semester I'm taking one class. Just like a basic sports admin class. And we've talked a lot about personalities and teamwork and communication and everything. I feel like that helps a lot within golf, even though we're an individual sport, we still play on a team. So, I've learned a lot of things within those KINES classes that can help me on the golf course, and some of the things I learned on the golf course, they can help me in the classroom. So I feel like they're connected.
[00:05:57] President William F. Tate IV: Nice. Glad to hear that. Now, you have another set of experiences at LSU. I mean, you're a student and, you know, you just get to live a student life. How have your experiences, just at LSU, contributed to your success as an athlete, but also just as a person?
[00:06:12] Ingrid Lindblad: I think I've learned a lot ever since I got in here. You know, when I got here, my English was good, but it's not as good as it is now. So, I think I've learned a lot, both within the languages saying, meeting new people and just-- four out of eight people on our team, they're international. So, I feel like I've learned a lot, within the golf team and I've met a lot of people that can help me in the future as well.
[00:06:34] President William F. Tate IV: That's great. Now, scoring big is a double eagle, right? That's a big score.
[00:06:40] Ingrid Lindblad: I've never made one.
[00:06:40] President William F. Tate IV: You've never made one?
[00:06:41] Ingrid Lindblad: No, I've never made a double eagle.
[00:06:43] President William F. Tate IV: Well, some people might say the fact that you have the most career wins in LSU history, male or female is a double eagle sort of, so to speak. So we're gonna-- we're gonna give you one today. What do you credit your success to? How have you been able to win so much over, you know, your career at LSU?
[00:07:02] Ingrid Lindblad: I think it's all about consistency. You can't just work on something for a week and just hoping that you will get a result in, you know, the next week or the next month. You have to be consistent. So, I've been working a lot of putting lately since late fall, like over the winter break and then just kept doing that. And I feel like it's paying off. You just gotta be consistent with what you're doing and just-- it doesn't have to be a lot of work you put in, you just gotta be consistent with it and, you know, work a lot on it.
[00:07:33] President William F. Tate IV: So when you get to your practice experience, you go to putting first?
[00:07:38] Ingrid Lindblad: I usually try to do putting first, but it also depends. 'Cause if it's really hot outside and I go in the morning, then I want to hit balls first, cause then it's not, you know, then you don't get too hot from hitting balls.
[00:07:50] President William F. Tate IV: So, the Augusta National Women's Amateur is only a few years old, but it's something you've been able to compete in. Share your feelings when you're out there competing on that particular course, that historic venue.
[00:08:02] Ingrid Lindblad: I mean, when I played Augusta this year, that was just amazing. And I didn't play very good the round before. So I was kind of-- instead of being the leader, I was chasing. Which, you know, it can be hard to do both. When I played at Augusta, that was just so amazing, and I was just trying to have a good time. And I talked to our Swedish golf team coach the other day, and I said, "I haven't had that much fun in a round in a long time." And I think that just speaks for it. Like, it's such an amazing golf course and just to be able to compete at that golf course, it's just so amazing.
[00:08:38] President William F. Tate IV: Well, you certainly made us proud and I'm glad I had a chance to watch a little bit of that. Now, a big part of golf, you know, it's an individual sport, but there are times we get to help one another. And that's when you mind flag for another person.
[00:08:52] Ingrid Lindblad: Yeah.
[00:08:52] President William F. Tate IV: For you, golf and school take up a lot of time. What are the other things you do that bring you satisfaction?
[00:08:42] Ingrid Lindblad: I do a lot of puzzles. [laughs] My roommates can make sure of that. You know, like a thousand pieces, at least.
[00:09:07] President William F. Tate IV: OK.
[00:09:08] Ingrid Lindblad: I don't know, it just helps me relax. Put your mind into something else than golf. And I can sit for three hours straight and not even realize it's been three hours.
[00:09:16] President William F. Tate IV: Well, I had a family full of puzzle folks. I was the outsider in the old puzzle game in my household. But I'm excited to hear. It tells me a lot about you. That takes a lot of patience, deferred gratification.
[00:09:27] Ingrid Lindblad: It’s just--I like details. So, a puzzle is like-- you have to find the right piece.
[00:09:32] President William F. Tate IV: So, is that like, the green is a puzzle for you when you're putting?
[00:09:35] Ingrid Lindblad: I mean, yeah, a little bit. You have to find the right line and everything and the right speed, so…
[00:09:39] President William F. Tate IV: Maybe there's a relationship there or something. There's a hint out there for those of us trying to get our putting together. Get a puzzle! So what goals do you have for yourself? What do you hope to achieve?
[00:09:48] Ingrid Lindblad: Well, I want to try to play professional. You know, just try it. And if I don't like it, then I have-- that's why I think school is important as well. That if I don't like it, that I have a degree to fall back on. Just trying to have fun with golf as long as I can. And whenever it's not fun anymore, trying to find something else to do.
[00:10:09] President William F. Tate IV: Now, you're an international student, but you're also in sports administration. So I'm going to let you have a chance right now, to give a marketing pitch to other international students about why they should come to LSU. I'm going to give you a little time to marinate and think about it.
[00:10:25] Ingrid Lindblad: Oh, I don't think I've ever done a marketing pitch before.
[00:10:28] President William F. Tate IV: Straight marketing pitch right now. You know, this is your new puzzle. Let's pull it all together. What are you going to tell another student who's an international student, why you should come to LSU?
[00:10:38] Ingrid Lindblad: Well, I think LSU is a great place for international students. I felt very welcomed when I got here. I felt very taken care of, and that was one of the reasons why I chose this school. And I also think we have-- we already have a lot of international students, and I haven't heard anyone who's not satisfied about it. And they don't have to study sports admin, they can study whatever, and I still think they would have a great time.
[00:11:03] President William F. Tate IV: Very good. Alright. I'll grade that pitch at least a par.
[00:11:08] Ingrid Lindblad: [laughs] At least a par.
[00:11:10] President William F. Tate IV: [laughs] It's good.
[00:11:12] Ingrid Lindblad: Oh, that's the new grading scale.
[00:11:14] President William F. Tate IV: That's above average.
[00:11:16] Ingrid Lindblad: Yeah.
[00:11:17] President William F. Tate IV: Well, let's ask some fun questions. I hear you like to listen to music before you play. So, is this true?
[00:11:24] Ingrid Lindblad: Yeah.
[00:11:25] President William F. Tate IV: So, what songs do you listen to before you start this off?
[00:11:29] Ingrid Lindblad: Well, it is three songs, and it's just, I don't know. It's just been a habit of doing it. So, it's usually 21 minutes before I tee off.
[00:11:39] President William F. Tate IV: OK.
[00:11:39] Ingrid Lindblad: I put on the first one and it's a song called "Hon Dansar Vidare I Livet", which is a Swedish song. It translates to, like, "she dances on in life" or "she keeps dancing on in life." And the next one is "Something Just Like This" with Coldplay and the Chainsmokers. And then the last one is a remix of "Paris" with the Chainsmokers and they’re just saying, "Let's show them we're better." So I think that's a--it's a great last song before we tee off, just—let’s show them we're better.
[00:12:09] President William F. Tate IV: Okay, I like that. So, pre-tournament rituals and things, we mentioned the songs. Are there other things that you do before you get started in a tournament?
[00:12:20 ] Ingrid Lindblad: I usually eat an apple. It's not, like a superstition or anything. It's just, I eat an apple to eat something before I tee off. And if I don't have an apple, it's probably another fruit or something. I also try to have a ball marker in my pocket before I tee off and two tees. And I get uncomfortable if I don't have two tees in my pocket [laughs].
[00:12:39] President William F. Tate IV: Really?
[00:12:40] Ingrid Lindblad: Yeah.
[00:12:41] President William F. Tate IV: What's special about two tees? It's just something you've gotten in the habit of?
[00:12:45] Ingrid Lindblad: Yeah, it's just-- it's been a habit. And then, if you have two tees, you always know that you have an extra one if you happen to break one whenever you put it down.
[00:12:53] President William F. Tate IV: What tips do you have for people who want to play golf, but aren't sure they want to start, or may be a little intimidated about golf?
[00:13:00] Ingrid Lindblad: I think you need to have fun with it. Don't take it too seriously, because I know a lot of people who try golf, they think it's really hard. Especially hitting the balls the first few times, and I know a lot of people struggling with short game and putting and everything. So, I think try to have fun with it and maybe find someone else who wants to try it with you, so then you can kind of compete with them. 'Cause we've been doing a lot of competing within the Swedish golf team, and I think it helps a lot when you have someone-- not compare yourself to, but you know, kind of compete with them and try to get better.
[00:13:33] President William F. Tate IV: So, what's your favorite part of the game?
[00:13:36] Ingrid Lindblad: I think putting. It's hard, but when you think about it, it's not that hard. You just got to pick a line, start the ball on the line and hit with good speed. That's what I was thinking yesterday when we played and I putted really good. You just don't have to make it very complicated. And I think a lot about it, it's speed, especially for someone who's not, like, on my level, like, someone who’s still developing. But speed is the key because if you have good speed, you're not going to have a lot of three-putts. So there's-- and putting, you can always get better. You can always make more putts. You can always hit it closer to the hole and, you know, make more birdies.
[00:14:14] President William F. Tate IV: Well, is there anything else you want to say to us?
[00:14:16] Ingrid Lindblad: Well, I'm just wondering why the podcast is called "On Par" instead of "Under Par"?
[00:14:20] President William F. Tate IV: I love that! Maybe next year, we should change the name of this to "Under Par"!
[00:14:25] Ingrid Lindblad: Because we want to shoot under par.
[00:14:27] President William F. Tate IV: You're right!
[00:14:27] Ingrid Lindblad: Yeah.
[00:14:28] President William F. Tate IV: I agree with you.
[00:14:29] Ingrid Lindblad: You know, shooting even par is good, but shooting under par--
[00:14:32] President William F. Tate IV: Well, it's 99th percentile. I mean, we take the total population in the world and said what they normally shoot. Like if you shoot 72, that's pretty much, you're in the 99th percentile.
[00:14:42] Ingrid Lindblad: Yeah.
[00:14:44] President William F. Tate IV: If you're an elite golfer like you, I mean, clearly it's not the same because you changed the denominator and it wouldn't be as good. But for us pedestrians, shooting a 72 is a big deal.
[00:14:56] Ingrid Lindblad: Yeah.
[00:14:56] President William F. Tate IV: For someone great like you...
[00:14:58] Ingrid Lindblad: On some courses, you're happy shooting a 72.
[00:15:01] President William F. Tate IV: But I like your idea, "Under Par with the President." We have an opportunity to be better with this name. That's why you here, we need you on this podcast. I love this.
[00:15:11] Ingrid Lindblad: Just trying to make things better around here.
[00:15:13] President William F. Tate IV: Thank you. I love it. [laughs] I love it. Thank you so much. It's been a real joy to meet you and I wish you well in the tournament.
[00:15:01] Ingrid Lindblad: Thank you. Thank you for having me.
[00:15:03] President William F. Tate IV: Alright. Take care.