Spencer Heller graduated from Turlock High in 2009 with dreams of golf glory. She wanted to compete at the highest level, but to her dismay she didn’t receive any Division I offers, and so she went in search of a university to call home. Her search brought her to Sonoma State University, and although it was a Division II school, it turned out to be the perfect fit for the former Bulldog.
Fast forward four years and Heller’s competitive playing days are over — for now at least — and her list of accomplishments is impressive. As a SeaDog, Heller was won 90 percent of her matches, earned seven individual medals, earned Top-10 honors 40 times, Top-5 honors 25 times, competed in four national tournaments, and was named an All-American each year she played. She is only the third golfer to be named All-American four times — male or female.
“That was my main goal my freshman year, to be named All-American each year,” Heller said. “After I got it that first year I knew I could do it each year.”
Heller finished 23rd in this season’s NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championship for her final collegiate performance. Her best national finish was 8th place in last year’s tournament.
“It’s bittersweet. It was nice to play in collegiate tournaments, but it’s time to move on and build a new chapter,” Heller said. “I’m still going to play on my own time, but there comes a time when you need to get a job and make some money, too.”
That’s not the end of Heller’s collegiate accomplishments, however. In addition to her athletic endeavors, Heller also received four All-American awards for her academics.
“If I wasn’t on the golf course I was in the library or in my room studying,” Heller said.
Now, with one more year of studies to complete at Sonoma, Heller is looking forward to a change of pace as she eyes a degree in Kinesiology. As for her future in golf, the Sonoma senior wants to wait things out and see where the future takes her.
“I’m looking forward to being a normal person again,” Heller said. “I got a job for the summer, so it’s pretty cool to be able to make my own money, and I’m going to have a lot of free time to spend with my boyfriend. It’s going to be weird, but it’s going to be good.”