Baylee Hammericksen

Teeing off her collegiate career as a freshman on the Oregon golf team, Baylee shines bright on the golf course and in the classroom.

What has Title IX allowed you to accomplish as a student-athlete?

I think at its most fundamental level, it’s allowed people to give us, as female athletes, the same recognition that the male athletes get. I think they’re kind of “brighter,” “flashier,” “more athletic.” There’s a lot of stigma around what they can do versus what we can do. And I think Title IX has given the legal leeway, so to speak, on recognizing that we are just as capable and just as skilled in any sport that we play as they are.

What is something you’re passionate about outside of athletics? 

I love to read pretty much any genre. It’s just been something I’ve loved to do since I was a kid. 

I love to clean; oddly enough, I’m kind of obsessive about it. I love to have an organized space. I think it just helps me think. My parents loved that because I would just go around the house and tidy everything up, and they wouldn’t have to ask me. 

Listening to music, anything before the nineties, anything after that, I don’t really listen to as much. 

I do like to exercise a little bit and play different sports. I grew up playing volleyball and played basketball a little bit. I wasn’t very good at that one, so it didn’t last as long.

And cooking, I’ve picked up cooking over quarantine. That’s been a lot of fun. Since moving to the dorm, that’s been a little bit difficult, not being able to do that as much. But I’ve been cooking, baking, really anything. That’s something I’ve picked up and really enjoy doing.

What’s your favorite book you’ve read recently?

Becoming by Michelle Obama. So, I brought it to the photoshoot today.

She did a zoom discussion with the honors college, which is something that I’m a part of. Then reading it, I think it was something a little different from my normal genre. I like to get into a lot of fantasy or something that takes me away from reality. And I think reading this book gave me a refreshing glimpse of reality. And it was very hopeful.

I also just love listening to her. I think she’s just such an eloquent speaker, her and her husband, both. And then I think it was also very hopeful. And I think, especially in this time, right now, when people and society tend to point out everything that’s going wrong and all these negative aspects of society. Reading things like this kind of reminds you it’s not all so bad.

You picked up cooking over quarantine, what’s your best creation?

A little disclaimer, I do follow recipes. So none of these are like my own original creation, but I made a stir fry that was pretty popular in my household, with a Thai peanut sauce situation. That was pretty good. My mom is lactose intolerant. So I started trying to do baking with non-dairy items. And oh, man. We had some rough products come out of that in the first stages, but I ended up making a batch of vegan peanut butter cookies that were pretty good. I kind of miss those now. 

How has Women In Flight given you a more fulfilling experience as a student-athlete? 

I think having that dedicated area to advocate for the female student-athlete experience. Then there’s going to be some community outreach where we can appeal to the next generation of female student-athletes. I think that’s just incredible because building that support network from the very bottom, from the youngest kids, and having them recognize that they have people that are constantly cheering for them, advocating for them, and being there for them. That is something that I most certainly want to be a part of. And, I think that’s something that Women in Flight provides.

Did you have someone growing up that you saw as a role model? 

For me, it was mostly my parents. I didn’t have any brothers or anything. It’s just my younger sister and me, but I felt like that never really made a difference to my dad.

My dad specifically, he’s the one that introduced me to golf from the beginning. And he always held us to the same expectations. He coaches the boy’s high school team where I’m from. Watching how he interacts with them versus how he interacts with us. It’s exactly the same.

He always taught me to never give up. There’s always a way, you know, trust the process, be patient. For me specifically, because that’s something I struggle with, being patient. But persevering and always seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I’m pretty good at the game Mahjong. Maybe that’s something you might not know about me. In my senior year of high school, I was a member of the Mahjong club. And we have a lot of foreign exchange students from China at my high school. And so I learned to play with them, and it was a lot of fun.

What’s your proudest accomplishment?

Graduating from high school is something that I was extremely proud of. I was in the cum laude society. It’s the top 10% of your class. And that was something I’m really proud of. And our high school women’s golf team won state five times in a row, which I was able to be a part of two of those times. The rest was canceled due to COVID, but being able to win as a team is really special. And hopefully something we can continue in college.

We heard that you also speak Mandarin…is that true!? 

I’m not fluent or anything, but it’s been a lot of fun. I started picking it up in high school. I wanted to keep going with it. And see how far I can take it.

Have you ever experienced a time when maybe you received opposition from other people? Maybe not being able to play something or do something because of your gender? 

Yes. When I was probably around nine or 10, we became members of the country club. Maybe I shouldn’t get that specific, but you know, where I played golf when I was younger, there were some people who made some comments that I think they probably thought were a little more lighthearted, but it was things like, “Wouldn’t you rather be at home cooking?” I’ve gotten that one before. Bizarre or things like, “You’re too pretty to be good at golf.” Little comments like that, where I don’t know if they thought they were trying to have it be a compliment, but those are actually very hurtful, and things like that shouldn’t be a deterrent to my skill in this sport.

I’m very competitive, so I took it a step further. “You want to come play on the course with me? I can show you just how, just how good I am!” Comments like that because I think, especially in their case… they’re not trying to be mean-spirited, and they’re not trying to be hurtful in those comments. They don’t have the perspective to see how those comments actually affect women. That’s something that I hope in the future that we can talk about in Women In Flight as an organization.