Brittany Marchand takes a moment to admire the golf course’s natural beauty following her second round.
Marchand is a few steps from hole No. 9, where she wrapped up a second-round 72, guaranteeing her spot among the weekend lineup.
The temperature is in the low 90s, but a tree next to where Marchand stands casts its shadow on her. The quiet of the golf course is interrupted only by the sound of birds chirping, flying from one tree to the next.
“I have trouble seeing myself go from this career to being an engineer,” Marchand said. “A lot of my friends are engineers, my boyfriend is an engineer, and every day I see them in a factory, inside doing work. It’s like, how am I going to go from this to that?”
Marchand, who is from Ontario, Canada, majored in chemical engineering at North Carolina State and was a three-time All-ACC golfer for the Wolfpack.
She knows one day her playing career will end, and she will have to put her degree to use full-time.
But that doesn’t mean she can’t apply the principles of science to her golf game.
“Being a math-oriented brain, the game has so much science in it,” she said. “When I was learning the game, or even now when I learn new things, I kind of look at it from a scientific view sometimes. For me, it’s helpful to have an understanding of the science to understand why I was doing a certain moving pattern or why I had to learn something new and what made it do that.”
She explains her mental checklist — all the small details she takes into consideration — when deciding how to play a ball.
There’s the wind, the grooves on the ball, the lie of the ball and countless other components.
For Marchand, the key is to shut the valve in her mind once she addresses the ball.
“Sometimes my very analytical brain gets in my way, too,” she said. “Golf is a very fine balance of having a lot going on in your head and trying to not have too much going on in your head.”
Marchand points to Let’s Talk Science as a way to remain close to golf while transitioning into her next career. Let’s Talk Science is a charitable organization in Canada that uses science, technology, engineering and mathematics to focus on children’s education.
She said she enjoys mentoring kids through the program, explaining how many people told her growing up that she would have to choose either school or sports.
That led her to North Carolina State, where she was the ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year as well as a National Golf Coaches Association All-American in 2014.
“And the thing was, a lot of my engineering friends would stay up all hours of the night and then go to class, but then they could crash after class,” Marchand said. “For me, it was like I had to stay up all night, go to workouts at 5 (a.m.), then go to class but then go to practice. And then it all started over again, so it was like I was never catching up on my sleep.”
After graduating, Marchand broke into the LPGA Symetra Tour in 2016 and had three top-10 finishes during her rookie year.
This year, she splits time between the LPGA Tour and the LPGA Symetra Tour. She is 10th on the LPGA Symetra Tour’s money list and had a third-place finish in her first tournament of the season.
Marchand is even through 36 holes at the Links at Stoney Point and is tied for 17th place with five other golfers.