Who is Cirbie Sheppard? That was probably the reaction of many golf fans when they learned that Cirbie was part of the "Big Break: Kaanapali" cast. There's not much info about her on the Web.
But before we tell you a little more about Cirbie, let's clear something up: Who is that fella in the photo with her to the left? That's Troy Healy, Cirbie's fiancee and the guitarist for the hard-rock band Neurosonic (you might catch their videos on Fuse TV; they were part of the Family Value Tour 2007 with Evanescence and Korn). And the engagement is recent - Troy popped the question Christmas morning. So our hearty congratulations to Cirby and Troy. (And we hope that being the first guy ever to appear in a photo on Golf Babes isn't damaging to Troy's street cred.) Now you know that when Cirbie says she's a "rocker chick," she means it.
So, back to our original question: Who is Cirbie Sheppard? Cirbie is someone who has taken a circuitous route to the world of professional golf, but someone with a plan to make her mark in the game.
Cirbie began golfing her sophomore year in high school, while also getting serious at basketball. She became good enough at golf to draw interest from some major Division I schools, but eventually was offered only partial scholarships. She decided to stick near home and enrolled at Sierra College, a California JUCO. She also gave up golf around this time. "I didn't think I'd get anywhere with golf 'cause there were so many chicks who had played since they were kids and were very great players," she told me, "and I thought that I wouldn't have a chance."
But after resisting entreaties from the golf coach for a while, Cirbie finally relented and joined the golf team. Based on some scores she passed along from this time period, Cirbie was shooting around 80, upper 70s to low 80s, at this point.
Cirbie moved in and out of golf in these years, and in and out of various jobs: real estate offices, Starbucks, working as a model at car shows. She became a martial arts instructor.
In 2005 Cirbie moved to Phoenix, bought a house on Legacy Golf Resort and went to work as a Hooters girl. She really didn't start playing golf again until 2006, and then only "here and there." As a Hooters Girl, she pointed out, she met lots businesspeople, many of whom golfed, and many of whom invited her to play in tournaments and charitable events when they found out she golfed. She started taking them up on those offers, and also playing club tournaments.
Cirbie was serious about golf again. In 2007, she decided to test herself on the Cactus Tour, but a wrist injury just before her first event led to terrible scores, and then a withdrawal in a second tournament. That is her only experience to date on a recognized professional mini-tour. Her lowest round so far is a 68 in a club tournament.
Cirbie says, "So yes, I do not have a broad background of golf as the other chicks do," but she's proud of and happy with the wide variety of experiences she's had, rather than being solely focused on golf up to this point.
But she does plan to narrow her focus in the coming years. Cirbie plans to play professional tournaments in 2008, probably on the Cactus Tour, but perhaps also on the Victory Tour (a new women's tour launching this year). She's shooting for the Futures Tour Q-School at the end of the year, and if she makes it to the Futures Tour in 2009, then her focus will shift to LPGA Q-School and making the LPGA Tour in 2010.
While golf looms as a larger priority, Cirbie also plans to pursue her nascent modeling career and hopes to make the pages of her favorite magazine, Maxim: "I WILL be on the cover someday soon and have a center spread," she said.
Golf, Cirbie says, has never seen anyone like her on the course. "Even though it's been rough with the roller coaster in my golf game since the injury ... I'm ready to show the world, my family and myself what I've got with my game!
"You're only alive once! I wanna experience many different events in my life while I can. I'm a strong believer that everything happens for a reason, no matter what. If ya have a low, then you're bound to have a high. ... 'The Big Break' was definitely an amazing event IN a lifetime, not OF a lifetime - 'cause I still have my whole life ahead of me, and every event in life that takes place adds to personality and life changes."