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Megan Propeck (McIntire ’25): An Ace on the Links and in the Classroom

The exceptionally skilled student-athlete is poised to shine in the world of professional golf.

Megan Propeck

By Emily Lauletta

At the start of our interview, Megan Propeck has just finished an 11-hour day after trekking through morning workouts, class, and of course, practice. Even more impressive, with her upbeat attitude and years of practice getting through days like this, you would never be able to tell.

The McIntire third-year has traveled to Charlottesville all the way from Kansas City. “UVA was actually the last school I toured,” Propeck says. “And I immediately fell in love.”

After being scouted for golf since eighth grade, Propeck had a list of schools that wanted her on their golf team. It was her high school golf team, which she describes as a very close-knit community that constantly challenged teammates to be their best, that solidified her decision to go on to play college golf.

However, the inspiration behind Propeck’s initial foray on the links is perhaps even more endearing. “I grew up playing every sport, and started golf around five or six years old,” Propeck says. “It was my brother who pushed me further into golf. He and I are pretty competitive, which helped me to get better.”

At just 10 years old, Propeck started playing competitively, and just two years later, she was confident it would be her forever sport. Since then, her career as an athlete has progressed rapidly. Among her biggest achievements is winning three individual Missouri state championships in high school and finishing second her junior year.

Propeck also credits an accomplished golfer and mentor from her hometown who used to work with legendary golfer Ben Hogan. “He was always encouraging me and pushing me to be better; he was the sweetest man,” she says, noting that, sadly, he passed away from cancer during her senior year. In his memory, she always wears a ribbon on her hat during competitions to commemorate him.

An Outlet for Growth

But it was more than family and an excellent mentor who guided Propeck toward golf.

As Propeck explains, the sport is an outlet that allows her to fulfill her desire for constant growth and improvement. “Golf is a sport where you can’t reach the limit of how good you can be. It’s a sport that centers a growth mindset,” she says.

The athlete details how the values of golf—integrity and gamesmanship in particular—align with her own personal principles: “I think these values make golf unique and are a really great aspect of the sport.”

Setting the Bar High

But as much joy as golf brings to Propeck, the journey to reaching her current status has been anything but an easy road for her.

Being at Propeck’s level as an athlete—while also maintaining her status as an excellent student—is so much more than 11- or 12-hour days. It also looks like watching class Zoom recordings and taking notes in hotel rooms, studying for exams on buses, and then taking those exams on the road.

With spring finals at UVA concurring with the regional competitions for collegiate golf athletes, she’s about to embark on her annual busiest—and most high-stakes—few weeks of the year. Being a student in one of UVA’s most sought-after academic programs makes her accomplishments all the more impressive. “For a while, it was really intimidating,” she says. “I was the only athlete in my block, and I felt like I shouldn’t be here.”

With hard work and an excellent academic record to show for it, Propeck has more than proven her ability to excel at the Commerce School. “I was really proud of the success I had, even in just getting through the last semester. Through the encouragement of my professors, I’ve learned so much about myself as a person.”

Through both athletics and academics, Propeck continues to set a high bar for herself, and then surpass it with flying colors. Case in point: She recently qualified for the U.S. Open, which has made Propeck start thinking even more seriously about a possible professional athletic career in golf. “I’m going to try to play professionally for at least my first few years out of college,” she says.

Regardless of where her professional golf career takes her, she knows she wants to continue to work in sports, perhaps leveraging all she’s learned about finance and commerce during her time at McIntire.

Maintaining Balance

Propeck takes both her athletic and academic careers very seriously, but at the same time keeps a balanced life that helps keep her mind clear, build stamina, and continue to strive as a student-athlete. One way she does so is through cooking. “I try to be intentional at the end of the day about taking the time to make a good meal or try a new recipe.”

She also enjoys being outside, going on hikes, working out, and of course, the occasional binge-worthy reality show with her roommates after a long day of school, practice, and competitions. The four student-athlete roommates have recently been binge-watching the Netflix dating show “Love is Blind.” “It’s nice to sit down and just laugh about stupid stuff,” Propeck says.

Key takeaways from her journey as a UVA golf star so far include the importance of staying organized and disciplined and asking for help when it’s needed.

Just Getting Started

On paper, Propeck is an exceptionally skilled student-athlete poised to shine in the world of professional golf. At her core, she is someone who is constantly seeking out a challenge to better herself.

With a busy schedule of summer tournaments to look forward to, as well as finishing up her academic career at UVA, Propeck is just getting started. Her story is one of strength, determination, and unwavering commitment, serving as an inspiration to aspiring athletes and students alike. With each swing of the club and each stride toward her goals, she continues to leave a lasting mark on the world of golf and beyond, proving that with passion and perseverance, anything is possible.

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