I am 225: Sophia Macias

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.

Her father, James Macias, says he never realized how male-focused sports like golf could be until he had a daughter.

“In two short years, Sophia has gone from having no kids to play with [besides her brother] to having all the kids ask her every day,” he says. “She brings out the best in her new golf friends.”

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 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.

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 to succeed at the game. Plus, she enjoys getting to travel for competitions and admiring the lush greenery at the golf courses on the coasts. 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.

“When I first started playing, I didn’t have a lot of golf friends around here. 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.”

This article was originally published in the August 2019 issue of 225 Magazine.