Dorsey Addicks travels cross-country in an Airstream on her journey to the pros
By Gabrielle Gasser EBS STAFF
BIG SKY – Local pro golfer Dorsey Addicks is having her best season ever with a recent 14th place finish at the Four Winds Invitational in South Bend, Indiana, earning her a current standing of 85 on the official Symetra Tour Money List.
Addicks, 26, is both training hard and playing hard as she travels around the U.S. to compete in as many tournaments as she can, all while living out of her 20-foot Airstream trailer.
To date, Addicks has already logged over 20,000 miles of driving across the U.S. in her golf career and she has been living out of her Airstream since January of 2021. According to her father, Rich Addicks, Dorsey “is the only one traveling and living full time out of a travel trailer on the Symetra Tour.”
The Symetra Tour is the official qualifying tour of the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour and is currently in its 41st competitive season. The nearly eight-month tour prepares the world’s best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour, a goal Dorsey has had her sights set on since college.
As an elementary student in Atlanta, Georgia, Dorsey had half-days of school on Fridays and would spend her afternoons taking golf lessons with a group of boys. On family vacations to Big Sky growing up, Dorsey said golfing with her dad and brother solidified her interest in the sport but it wasn’t until her freshmen year of high school that she picked it up again.
A desire to play golf in college led Dorsey to set aside her other two sports and dedicate the rest of her high school athletic career to golf.
Her commitment paid off: Dorsey played on the Seattle University golf team, where she graduated in 2017 before going pro in 2018.
Now, Dorsey uses Big Sky, where her parents reside, as her home base, traveling for six months at a time and returning home for six months.
This nomadic lifestyle is not new to Dorsey, who spent a lot of time during college and summers traveling with her dad in his own Airstream trailer to different amateur events. During the pandemic, Rich and Dorsey brought the Airstream back into service so Dorsey could travel safely to tournaments and continue competing.
Rich, a retired photojournalist, dedicated his 2020 summer to traveling with Dorsey on her third pro season and the two were able to stay healthy and safe. In July of 2020, Dorsey bought an Airstream of her own.
Dorsey said she had always wanted to buy a van but it had never made enough logistical sense for her to pull the trigger. With one season of nomadic lifestyle under her belt and a cost-justified plan in place for 2021, Dorsey was able to make her dream a reality.
“It’s a great opportunity and this is really the only time in your life where you can basically live on the road and make no money and be okay,” she said.
Dorsey says there are many benefits to this mode of travel including never having to unpack, being able to cook for herself and creating a sense of consistency while she travels cross-country.
“I like to say it doesn’t matter where in the country we are. I’m home,” Dorsey said.
The sense of home Dorsey refers to comes not only from her trailer, but also from the comradery that she enjoys with the other athletes on the Symetra Tour. There are 144 girls that go to each tournament, a group Dorsey describes as “one big family.”
“We’re all working towards the same goal,” she said. “We’re all competitive with one another, but we’re also on the road for 20 weeks out of the year and so you build this family in this community.”
One example of that community in action was at the South Bend tournament where Dorsey recalled one athlete had all of her clubs stolen. Upon hearing the news, the rest of the athletes there didn’t hesitate to pitch in and give her any spare clubs they had on hand.
“We all really want to see each other do well,” Dorsey said.
The ultimate goal for these athletes is to earn their LPGA card, an accomplishment not earned by many that requires hard work and dedication.
“This was the first year where I really felt like I really truly could get my card on the LPGA, so for me that’s really exciting,” Dorsey said of her longtime goal.
The road to obtaining the card is long and the first step, which Dorsey hopes to achieve by the end of this year’s Symetra Tour on Oct. 10, is finishing in the top 80 on the Money List. These top 80 athletes are able to get into every 2022 pro event, creating more chances at a top-10 finish. At the end of each season, the top 10 finishers receive their LPGA card.
Dorsey has been improving steadily since her rookie season and she referred to herself as a “late bloomer.”
“I feel like I have lots of room I can improve,” she said, “and that’s really exciting because I haven’t reached my full peak potential, and a lot of these girls have already peaked. So, for me I’m really excited about the trajectory of my career and every year I’m just getting a little bit better and it’s going in the right direction.”
Her father and biggest fan shares her optimism. Dorsey’s golf journey is like climbing a mountain, he said. The closer you get to the top, the harder it is to climb.
“Dorsey’s golf journey started later than most of her peers,” Rich said. “But her talent and willingness to work hard and make sacrifices have paid off, and this year the view has gotten much better,” he said.
Rich complimented Dorsey’s mental game saying that has been her biggest improvement this year.
“Golf is always trying to tell you you’re not very good, but Dorsey has learned to tune that out and play with confidence, patience and trust,” he said. “It is the hardest part of golf, and if you can figure it out and know yourself, you will achieve your goals.”
The 2021 Symetra Tour is nearing its end with just three tournaments left before the championship. Right now, Dorsey is en route in the Airstream to her next stop on the tour, Prattville, Alabama, where she’ll play Sept. 17-19. It takes her longer to get to events than if she flew, but Dorsey said she doesn’t mind and has even been able to visit some places she otherwise never would have seen.
“It’s been a great adventure and I’m enjoying it a lot,” she said.