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Gone Fishing

Golf coach Angela Chancellor combines her love for fishing and golf any chance she gets.
Maya Ortiz
In breaks of action during a spring golf tournament, coach Angela Chancellor threw her portable fishing pole in the ponds on the course.

Since the early days of her childhood, golf coach Angela Chancellor loved fishing. Growing up in south Alabama, Chancellor could be described as a no-shoes type of kid, who was always out on the water. She wanted to be a professional golfer before she aspired to be a golf coach and wanted to use golf to go and see the world.

“Golf was my way out. It was my community so I could see the world,” Chancellor said.

In the last couple of years, Chancellor combined both of her childhood loves. Sometimes she can be spotted fishing on the lakes of a golf course.

Angela Chancellor shows off an amberjack fish she caught on the Breathe Easy. Courtesy of Angela Chancellor.

The athletes who play golf often describe her as a straightforward coach who always knows how to motivate you; and recently, they have gotten used to seeing Chancellor with her fishing pole.

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“I think the first time it was a little shocking because it seems a little taboo,” junior Courtney Daniel said. “Because you know, you’re just on the 15th hole or something, and then you look over and there’s coach Chancellor minding her own business.”

Along with her time fishing on the golf course, Chancellor spends a weekend in August competing in a deep sea fishing tournament every year. The Mobile Big Game Fishing Club holds an annual Ladies Tournament where women create teams and compete to see who can catch the most fish, which Chancellor says is an exhilarating experience.

The biggest fish she has ever caught is a 250-pound blue marlin.

“It’s incredible, I would equate it to winning a golf tournament,” Chancellor said. “That’s the feeling you get when you’ve conquered the fish.”

Chancellor generally correlates fishing and golfing as being similar. She loves the competitive aspect and how she can escape into the outdoors with both.

Colleague Jason Watson has seen Chancellor in action multiple times over the course of a decade. He is entertained by it.

“I think she enjoys the fight, the pursuit of trying to get a fish on and; then I know she likes to do some offshore fishing and I know she enjoys the fight of that,” said Watson.

Chancellor originally saw a parent with a retractable rod at a golf tournament throwing a line at the tee box, so she decided to buy one and keep it with her at all times. During qualifying or between tee shots, she would unfold her bright green fishing rod, and toss it in the water to see what she could catch.

The Breathe Easy fishing team’s boat is used for the women’s deep sea fishing tournament golf coach Angela Chancellor participates in each year. Courtesy of Angela Chancellor.

“I don’t have to catch a fish to have a good day fishing. I don’t have to shoot under par to have a good day playing golf,” said Chancellor.

It’s that mindset that has become contagious on her teams. She spends as much time teaching her athletes to have the right mindset as she does coaching them on their swing mechanics.

“She’s taught me a lot through the game of golf mindset wise, my mentality,” senior Kasen Ferguson said. “And that’s translated to my normal life as well.”

Chancellor accomplishes much of that by trying her best to create a close-knit team and making sure everyone has the same opportunities.

Chancellor tries to make golf a sport where everyone belongs. Even first-time golfers and multi-sport athletes have opportunities to be great. The dynamic between all the team members is what Chancellor loves so much about coaching golf.

“I think it’s cool, because in golf you can do that,” Chancellor said. “In other sports it’s really hard once you get to high school to be able to learn a sport and advance to where you can get to the state level. In golf, that is a possibility for anyone that wants to put in the work for it.”

This story was originally published on Park Times on December 1, 2023.