For those who don’t know Blair O’Neal, she is a professional golfer, model, and the winner of BIG BREAK: Dominican Republic (she was also a runner up of BIG BREAK: Prince Edward Island). She has traveled the world and played at some of golf’s greatest venues. As a model, she has been featured in print, runway and television. She tries to lead a healthy lifestyle and, as her favorite saying goes, “At the end of the day, be a kind person.”
Q&A with Blair O'Neal
As a current professional golfer, when did you get your start in the game?
BN: I started playing when I was 11 years old.
That’s incredible! Who is responsible for introducing you to golf?
BN: My dad used to play a lot of golf, so he put my brother and me in a junior clinic. I loved it because when I made solid contact, I hit the ball really far. That was exciting for me. Little did I know, being a long ball hitter would be a significant strength of my game!
How did you become a golfer?
BN: Before being introduced to golf, I was enrolled in all different types of dance classes. Once I started my junior golf clinics, my parents told me I needed to pick golf lessons or dance classes. Their thought was whatever I chose I should focus on exclusively and give it my all. I think I made the right choice.
Aside from golf, how do you like to spend your free time?
BN: I love spending time with family, friends and of course, my dog, Cozi! I love to cook when I am home. It’s fun to get creative with ingredients and make my own recipes. I don’t always eat as well as I would like to when I’m on the road because my travel schedule can get pretty hectic. So when I’m at home, I stick to healthy and balanced meals. I also love home decor and finding new pieces for the house.
I’m sure we can both agree that the game of golf, whether it be the weekend golfer or at the professional level, is surrounded by many distractions. Can you comment on what your personal pet peeve is and why?
BN: Probably not an uncommon answer, but slow play tends to be my biggest pet peeve on the course. I don’t mind when people have longer pre-shot routines, but I get very frustrated with players who take forever to get to their ball or aren’t ready to play when it’s their turn. There is plenty of time to chat on the golf course, but just not when it’s your turn to hit.
What was one of the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome?
BN: I’ve had a number of challenges throughout my career. Professional golf can be a grind and it takes a lot of dedication. I didn’t have the financial backing when I was younger, but I figured out ways to keep going and never gave up. I dove into a modeling career after I graduated college, partially to help fund my way as a professional golfer. Most of my career has been figuring things out without much guidance. I never shied away from an opportunity, and
I believe that’s why my career has grown so much. I’ve become more confident with myself and what I can do as time goes on. Between co-hosting a television show, working on live television, emceeing celebrity golf events, and playing golf with the top athletes in the world. I’ve worked hard for it all, and I never take it for granted.
You’ve made your childhood dream a reality, accepted a full ride scholarship to Arizona State University, and turned pro in 2004. There are so many accomplishments to be proud of, what sticks out to you?
BN: Winning the Golf Channel’s Big Break: Dominican Republic was definitely a highlight of my career. But I’m equally proud of the overall brand I’ve created for myself through my golf and crossover to the TV. Both are demanding and pressure-packed. It’s been a long journey, and I really love being able to do what I do.
Balancing your TV, golf, and modeling career sounds extremely challenging, what is your daily routine like?
BN: Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), routine is somewhat of a foreign language to me. Every day and every week is different for me. The most consistent part of my schedule is filming School of Golf. I typically travel to the Golf Channel studios in Orlando, Florida (I live in Scottsdale, AZ) at the beginning of every week. We usually film on Monday and/or Tuesday, and our show airs on Golf Channel every Tuesday night at 7 PM Eastern. Depending on the week, I might also shoot a few segments live with Morning Drive (Golf Channel’s morning show). I often fly from Orlando to other commitments such as corporate outings, appearances with my sponsors, or playing in Celebrities’ charitable golf tournaments. Sometimes I will have one trip to take in a week, and sometimes I will have five different stops in a week. As you can imagine, I thoroughly cherish my time at home when I can get it.
You maintain a pretty active lifestyle; what foods fuel you?
BN: When I’m home, I cook with a lot of veggies, lean proteins, and stay away from gluten and refined sugars. I often supplement meals with shakes generally consisting of pea protein, almond milk, amino acids, MCT oil, fiber, etc. On the road, I always bring a low-sugar protein bar in case of emergency hunger and some fixings for my coffee (i.e., MCT/ coconut oil, fiber, honey sticks, collagen). I like making specialty coffees, for example, bulletproof-coffee with added ingredients like collagen, bone broth, fiber, etc. I’ve been enjoying intermittent fasting when I’m in town, and my coffee is a definite must.
How do you stay in such great shape?
BN: I always say staying in shape is not about going on a diet or getting on a specific workout program. It's about living an overall healthy and consistent lifestyle. You don’t have to eat perfect or workout every single day, but making health a pervasive part of your life will give you results. I eat smart but also have balance. When I’m not traveling, I’m working out with my trainer on a regular basis. I also just got a Peloton bike which has been convenient to take a spin class anytime I’m home.
You’re absolutely right, consistency is key! What is your training routine like?
BN: Strength training and a lot of mobility with my trainer Brandon at Premier Fitness Systems in Scottsdale. I sprinkle in Peloton spin classes at home and some beneficial yoga classes to balance it all out.
Calories don’t count, what are you eating?
BN: Pizza, chocolate glazed donuts, and if we’re not counting gluten... probably anything with gluten.
Ha ha ha—great answer! Now, aside from your affinity for golf, what else are you passionate about?
BN: Well, besides my dog Cozi, I’m a health and beauty nut. I love learning about new beauty products that can help with longevity. It’s been great getting to know you, Blair!
Before we end, can you tell us what else is on the horizon for you?
BN: I’ve got some new exciting things coming up with Golf Channel. Stay tuned...
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