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Trick Shot Artist Was Inspired at Age 12 by a Tiger Woods Commercial

Trick Shot Artist Inspired by Tiger

At age 12, Tania Tare wasn’t into golf yet. But a commercial featuring Tiger Woods juggling and then hitting a golf ball out of the air caught her eye. Fast forward 20 years and Tare can only look back in amazement.

“If I think about how it all started, it’s actually pretty crazy,” she said.

Tare, 32, grew up in New Zealand, played collegiately at Florida International, and lived briefly in California before settling in Arizona. She vividly recalls that day two decades ago when she watched the Nike commercial of Woods casually bouncing a ball on a wedge several times, going up and under his legs before swinging at the ball and launching it to the moon.

“I saw that when I was about 12 and I learned how to do that without ever hitting a golf ball off the ground. I thought that was the coolest thing I’ve ever seen,” she said. “I didn’t even really like associate it in my head that it was golf. … I didn’t hit my first golf ball in a normal way until I was like 14. So technically, yeah, that’s probably the first thing I did that related to golf.”

“I didn’t start doing trick shots because ‘I’m going to be the best trickshot artist in the world.’ I just did them for my friends and family who thought that golf was kind of boring,” she said. “I was like, ‘This isn’t boring!’ And then all these people really liked them and all these opportunities came up and I was like, ‘Oh, this is a thing?’ and now it’s literally a thing that I do.”

The opportunities did indeed come up. And they still do.

Tare has sponsorships with Ping, OnCore golf balls, watchmaker Audemars Piguet—for which she shot a cool commercial in a parking structure which hardly even features the watch—and adidas, which provides her apparel. She is frequently booked for events and has a crazy following on social media. Her Instagram account has more than 300,000 followers.

Tania TareGolf trick shot artist Tania Tare at Eagle Mountain Golf Club in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Photo by Todd Kelly/Golfweek

A once aspiring LPGA player, Tare’s biggest foe has been injuries. She says she’s had three wrist surgeries and was told she needed a fourth but she’s hesitant to try that again, considering the first three didn’t work.

“Now I’m at the point where I’m like, ‘I don’t know if it’s meant for me,’” she says of reaching her LPGA dream. Her golfing life simply took her down a different path.

“I tell people all the time I feel like I really lucked out,” she said. “Ninety percent of my life is trick shots and all the stuff surrounding it. I get to stay in the golf world. I’m actually in the golf world in a better way than I was when I was a pro and I was grinding.

“For the first patch when I was still actually trying to play [on tour] I was making money off the trick shot stuff and then spending it all on trying to be a pro golfer and it was like, the feeling was way different. Now I’ve gotten to do so many things, meet so many people that I definitely wouldn’t have had that chance if I was just a pro trying to get on tour.”

Tania TareGolf trick shot artist Tania Tare at Eagle Mountain Golf Club in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Photo by Todd Kelly/Golfweek

Before the pandemic, she said she was home about three nights a month.

Tare recently played (regular golf) and then performed (trick shot golf) at an enhancement ceremony for Eagle Mountain Golf Club in Fountain Hills, Arizona. She talked about other gigs on her upcoming schedule, including one at Desert Mountain in North Scottsdale. She also committed to playing in the Arizona Women’s Open.

“I wrote on Instagram that I would enter if I got more than 200 comments and it got over 1,000. I gotta keep my word,” she said with a smile.

Tania TareGolf trick shot artist Tania Tare at Eagle Mountain Golf Club in Fountain Hills, Arizona. Photo by Todd Kelly/Golfweek

Tare hasn’t been home to New Zealand since before COVID but has plans to fly back early in 2022 if the pandemic doesn’t take a turn for the worse.

In the meantime, she’ll keep making those fun videos. One of her more famous involved a yoga ball and a red Solo cup. The video is just seven seconds long but took countless tries to pull off. The back story is pretty great, too.

“That one, on the ball, my family was waiting for me to go to dinner, it was my birthday. I was like, ‘No! I have to!’” she said. “Once I start a trick, once I have an idea, I just pretty much do it till I’m sore.”

This article originally Appeared on Golfweek.

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