A passion that started with taking up the game of golf as a high school freshman has blossomed into a burgeoning career for Patterson Mill High 2011 graduate Stefany King.
King, now a teaching golf professional at The Classic Swing Golf School at Legends Golf Resorts in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, recalls her humble beginnings in the sport and how she enjoys now being on the other side of things.
“I liked it because my dad played it, so it was kind of cool to play with him, so that made it fun, but now it’s kind of cool to see, as a teacher, to see people improve, and just see the happiness on people’s faces and you’re actually helping them,” she said. “So that really, really makes me happy as a teacher. Because that brings me back every day.”
These days, known as Stefany King Miller, she has her LPGA card. Miller got married in November to husband Georgan Miller, whom she met at the PGA Superstore in 2016.
She’s come a long way from being the lone girl on the Patterson Mill team shooting in the 100s. But, through hard work, Miller has always steadily improved.
She played four years of golf at the University of Mt. Olive, following up four years at Patterson Mill. Her time in high school included a Harford County title and two years of competition in the Maryland State Golf Tournament.
“I graduated from University of Mt. Olive in 2015, moved down here right away, so I’ve been down here for five years now, going on six,” Miller said at the resort last Friday.
“I started just as a teaching assistant and just kind of helping out around here doing some paperwork, learning how to do some grips, but got into the LPGA program in the summer of 2016,” Miller said. “So, I started in the LPGA program and then graduated in 2018 and now have my LPGA Class A card. So, I teach down here in Myrtle Beach at The Classic Swing Golf School and I’m the Director of Junior Golf, so I do a lot of US Kids programs. I do a lot of girls golf programs and I absolutely love it.”
Now, with her LPGA card, one might think Miller is heading for the tour. Not so much.
“I will never play on tour, I’m not going to play professional. I’ve got it to teach, so it’s a teaching and club professional card pretty much,” Miller explained. “When you go through the program, you learn how to teach, I guess the right way, or you get different things that help you go out there and teach a student — always learning the student. Just doing the proper things in a lesson to help them out in the time period that you’re given.”
But that doesn’t mean she never plays. Miller recalls a tournament she and a fellow female pro played together and won in 2019. They played again in 2020, but came up short in the semifinals. As she says, though, it was fun.
“I like playing, it’s a lot of pressure on me, so I don’t think playing will ever be something I will do. I’ll do it for fun, because it was like a scramble. It was a Ryder Cup,” she said about the tournament. “So it was, six holes scramble, six holes alternate shot and six holes best ball. So, to me that’s fun and not a lot of pressure.”
“Going out there by myself and playing, especially when they put money on the line, I’m just nervous as could be,” Miller said. “I’ll look into it, maybe once every year I’ll play, but just teaching, I want to put a lot of time into that. Practicing and playing kind of get put on the back burner, but I do love going out with my husband, my friends and just playing for fun. Teaching is definitely my passion now.”
When Miller headed off to college in the Fall of 2011, she was focused on education as a major. ”I went to college freshman year and I wanted to do education. I wanted to be a teacher, I just love kids,” she said.
She says she saw all the classes she needed to take and thought, maybe business was a better route. The thought crossed her mind of maybe working for Under Armour, which would mean coming back home and working.
But there was a another thought. She couldn’t see herself sitting at a desk all day.
She even considered sports management, figuring she could work somewhere in the sports field.
In the end, she graduated from Mt. Olive in August of 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management and minor in Business Administration.
“I came down here during the summers and taught junior golf camps. It was basic, not too complex and I loved it,” Miller said of her time while at Mt. Olive.
In the Summer of her senior year, Miller did an internship at the First Tee of Brunswick County in North Carolina. “I thought this is cool, I really like this, a non-profit and I enjoy this, but can I make money in this field?
Then came a call from Ted Frick, the Owner/Director of Instruction of The Classic Swing Golf School and a Baltimore native; his LPGA teacher was leaving and he offered Miller the job.
“I got a little nervous, having to work with adults. My vision was kids,” she said. “I said OK, he sent me the job description and I was like, ‘OK, I think I can do this.’
“I was a people person, but I’ve got to talk a lot to adults. I’ve got to learn all this stuff, but once I got into it, first year or two, I absolutely loved it. It has been a great opportunity for sure,” Miller said.
Miller says every day is just different. One day she’s teaching a five-year old and the next, a 70-year old woman, she says.
The golf schools run weekly, Monday through Friday and Thursday through Saturday. Miller says she works six days a week in Spring, Fall and Winter.