Rachael McQueen got some bad news earlier this year when visa issues meant she wouldn't be able to continue working as a PGA instructor at the Golf House Tennessee Learning Center (run by the Tennessee Golf Association). So she packed her bags and headed home to Troon, Scotland.
"I loved living in Nashville and I miss my friends so much," Rachael told us.
But this change also presented an opportunity. Rachael was spending so much time working on other golfers' games that she hadn't spent much time on her own. Going home meant being able to concentrate on her own game.
"It's been great being home and finally pursuing my dream to be on tour," McQueen said. In Tennessee, working as an instructor, she "found it difficult to juggle working and practicing. Now I'm able to focus fully on my own game."
That renewed focus on her own game means that Rachael is entering Ladies European Tour Q-School late this year.
And an old friend has helped her out with a taste of tour life. McQueen's good friend Carly Booth brought her out on tour as her caddie in several LET tournaments. "She took me to France to help give me an insight into what it was like on the European tour," said McQueen.
That combo prompted us to tweet that Rachael and Carly made up the "hottest tour player/caddie combo .... ever!"
"Carly and I have been best friends for about nine years so we go way back," Rachael told us. "It's been great catching up and playing golf with her again. She is so supportive of me going to tour school and keeps telling me to hurry up and get my butt on tour so we can travel together."
Rachael took a somewhat unusual path into golf, given that none of her immediate family are golfers (although her uncle was Scottish Boys champion way back when) and she didn't take up the game until she was 14.
"The Open Championship came to Troon in 2004 and I just fell in love with the sport," she said.
But although Rachael picked up the sport late, she took to it quickly. Before long she was Ayshire County champion, and she was a Scottish Girls international in 2008. She graduated from the golf management and coaching program at Elmwood College in Scotland, then first came to the United States to play golf at McLennan Community College in Waco, Texas. After two seasons as an NJCAA All-American, McQueen took a job teaching golf as an Assistant Golf Professional at Golf House Tennessee.
And next up for Rachael: LET Q-School, pre-qualifying mid-December and final qualifying Dec. 18-21.