Golf fuels Liv Juliana’s competitive drive

Liv Juliana’s favorite things
Athlete: Jordan Spieth
Food: Strawberry lemonade
TV show: Grey’s Anatomy
Music: Alternative


MALVERN – From her early days as a tri-sport athlete, Liv Juliana had always expected to make an impact in the sports arena.

Soccer and basketball were at the forefront for the Great Valley senior, but a series of major concussions forced her to alter her plans. Contact sports were out – and there weren’t many options available for Juliana to continue her athletic pursuits.

 “Going from a tri-sport athlete to no sport was one of the hardest adjustments that I have ever faced,” Juliana said. “I needed an outlet that was safer, but just as competitive for me to put in my hard work and determination.”

Golf was the perfect fit.

“I get the same drive and rush from golf that I did from basketball, where I get in a zone and perform to my best ability,” Liv said. “The game of golf gives me an outlet where I can go to on my best days and on my worst days. It reduces my stress level and takes my mind off of my daily doctor’s appointments.”

For most, the stress level usually rises standing over a 10-foot putt or 200-yard approach shot over the water to the green.

But Juliana is undaunted by those challenges, calm and cool under pressure – assets she demonstrated in capturing the 2017 Pioneer Athletic Conference individual girls championship after firing an even-par 70 at Gilbertsville GC to outdistance runner-up Liddie McCook of Downingtown East by one shot.

After placing seventh in the District 1 championship with consecutive rounds of 80 at Gilbertsville GC and Turtle Creek GC, respectively, Juliana qualified for the PIAA Eastern Regional at Golden Oaks GC in Fleetwood but missed the cut for the PIAA Championships – a preseason goal that fell short of fruition.

“My goal coming into the season was to perform consistently through every match and to focus on my own game,” Juliana said. “I hoped to play well in the PAC tournament, but was not expecting to walk away with the title. The key to winning the PAC championship was to stay cool, calm, and collected. I focused solely on myself and did not pay attention to my score or anyone else’s. Each shot was taken one by one. I honestly did not expect to win, which made everything a little bit sweeter.”

The daughter of Marie and Ralph Juliana carries that same business-like approach into the classroom, where she sports a 4.0 GPA and is a distinguished honors recipient.

A member of Applecross Country Club (Downingtown) whose swing coach is Eric MacCluen and golf mentor is Gregg Russell,  Liv plans to major in Physician Assistant studies. Her top college choices include Gannon University, Le Moyne College, St. Francis University, and Rockhurst University where she hopes to continue her golfing career.

In addition, giving back to the community has always been a part of Juliana’s modus operandi.

“I participate in a lot of community service work at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Ronald McDonald House, and for the foundation in which I started golf- Girls Golf Revolution,” said Juliana. “I volunteer to hit drives in golf outings to raise money for the outing’s foundation. In 2015 I played 201 holes in one day for a golf marathon to raise money for the Ronald McDonald house and install indoor putting greens for those patients who live there.

“I later gave putting lessons to some of these patients. In school I am the co-president of a club that creates a safe and fun atmosphere for children who are fighting a battle in the hospital. I speak to patients who live in the hospital and mentor other kids suffering concussions, migraine and Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome (AMPS).”

Alivia began playing golf at the age of 14 as a total novice without any idea of how to execute a proper golf swing.

“Eric MacCluen (swing coach) started a foundation called Girls Golf Revolution where he offered free golf lessons once a week for girls who are interested in starting golf,” Juliana said. “I attended one of the free Saturday clinics where I found an interest in the game and had a great connection with the coach. It turned into private lessons which turned into daily practice.

“Eric has helped me in more ways than just fixing my swing. He has opened so many opportunities that I never would have dreamed of before finding the game. I now give back to the foundation whenever I can to help girls like me find their purpose. I am hopeful that I can inspire beginner golfers to work hard (so they can) achieve anything by their senior year.”

Juliana’s golf and achievements are off the charts, including the following:
2017 Great Valley Most improvement award
2017 Great Valley Coach’s award
2017 PAC Individual Champion
2017 Seventh place in District 1 Tournament to qualify for PIAA Eastern Regional
2017 Athlete of the Month
2016 Mercury All Area First Team
2016 PAC All League First Team
2016 PIAA District 1 Class AAA Qualifier
2016 PAC Individual Tournament Placed 5th (83)
2015 Mercury All Area First Team
2015 PAC All League First Team
2015 PIAA District 1 Class AAA Qualifier
2015 PAC Individual Tournament Placed top 16 (76)
2015 Spring Ford Invitational “Low Sophomore Award”
2015 Honeybrook Invitational First Place Team, Individual runner-up Low Scorer (74)
2015, 2016, 2017 Numerous top 3 finishes in Philadelphia Area Junior Tournaments

“I I am honored to be recognized for my athletic ability,” she said. “I really hope to play golf in college and can’t wait to compete as a collegiate athlete.”

Juliana finds inspiration in the words of motivational speaker Eric Thomas. “His videos and speeches push me to compete to my greatest ability,” Liv said. “He brings forward my motivation and determination and is definitely one person I hope to meet one day.”

Until that time, Juliana continues to work diligently at her game.

“Starting as a freshman in high school I knew I had to catch up to the other girls my age who have been playing golf since they could walk,” Juliana said. “In a short period of time I had caught up and exceeded some of my competition.

“Through lots of hard work and dedication I improved my game tremendously every year. I have taken quite a bit of time off for medical reasons over the short amount of time I have been playing and was later diagnosed with a wrist injury that sidelined me for nearly a year. I was worried going into this year’s season due to my wrist still not 100 per cent normal. I got cleared from my wrist injury this past June and started practicing again to get a good start on this great season.”

Liv lists fast greens as a challenge and wedge-play as her strength. When asked of her best sports memories, it is not the PAC Championship, but her fundraising efforts for different outings (hitting drives for donations) and college golf trips that trump her many accomplishments on the links.

“Golf has done more for me than just give me something to do,” she said. “It has made me look at life in a new way while I get to enjoy beautiful destinations with gorgeous weather and still suit my competitiveness.”

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