What could hurtling down a mountain at 80 mph have in common with facing a downhill putt? Plenty, says Olympic gold medalist and recent golf convert Lindsey Vonn. "Mentally, it's the same," Vonn says. "In golf, you have to focus and be calm and have the proper technique without TRYING to have the proper technique. It's like skiing."
Vonn doesn't play as much as she'd like, but she makes the most of her on-course time. Last year she made an ace at the Safeway Invitational charity event at Bayonet Golf Club in Monterey, Calif. "It was 160-something yards," Vonn says. "I didn't even see it go in. I hit a 5-iron. I thought 'Oh, that will be close.' Then my teammates started freaking out and saying, 'You got a hole-in-one!' They were happy for me and at the same time extremely angry because they had been playing their whole life." They grew more jealous when they learned it was her first time playing 18 holes.
Before her ace, Vonn's golf experience consisted mainly of driving balls in her grandparents' backyard. "I'm not bad for not having lessons," Vonn says. Her Twitter friend Stewart Cink has promised her some pointers. With her balanced stance and physical grace, he has plenty to work with. One thing for sure: She won't complain about lugging her clubs on the plane. "I travel with a 100 pairs of skis," she says. "That's a lot of overweight at the airport."