I first came across MaKenzie Douglas and her golf prints on Twitter a few weeks ago and knew immediately that I wanted to help spread the word about her and her amazing talent. Read on below to see what MaKenzie had to say about her background in golf, her love of art, her new line of golf prints, and what the future may hold for her.
Q: How did you first become interested in golf? How old were you when you first started playing?
A: My father first put a golf club into my hands at the age of 2. If I remember correctly, I started playing competitively when I was around 6 or 7. I had decided really young that I wanted to play in college and hoped to one day play on Tour (I still have this dream).
Q: How fast did your game progress?
A: I would say my game progressed slower than I had hoped at the time. But, looking back, I actually had made a lot of progress. Everyone wants to be the best immediately. But, as we all know, golf is not a game that you can just go out and play and be good at immediately. It takes thousands of repetitions and fine tuning to become a better player. I was a range rat- I would hit balls on the range until I wore blisters on my hands and would burn the last hours of the day trying to work on aspects of my game that I felt were lacking. My improvements weren’t instantaneous. My freshman year of college my coach sat me down after a disappointing round and said something along the lines of: “MaK, I know you work so hard to get better and I see you getting frustrated that you aren’t going out and firing on all cylinders. You may not be able to see these changes immediately, you’re putting in work for the future”.
My senior year of high school, I had a major jaw surgery. (I was born with a cleft lip and palate and that surgery added to my total of over 20 surgeries). I had lost close to 20 pounds and a lot of my muscle tone. In turn, I entered my freshman year of college trying to get back to where I was pre-surgery. Between my freshman and sophomore years of college, I was able to see a lot of improvements- because of swing improvements and comfort level improving while competing at a much higher level than I was used to. I gained distance and accuracy each year- averaging 270-285 yards off the tee (several times drives over 300 yards, longest drive being 316 yards) and closer proximity to the hole in greens hit. But, the biggest inhibitor for my progression and the area that I had to work on the most was the mental side of the game. I feared mistakes and poor swings. The older I got, the more I came to understand that this is a game and that I had prepared to the best of my ability to perform- to let my body let do what I’ve trained so hard for it to do. I also began reading a number of books designed to help golfers with the mental side of the game.
Q. Who were your favorite golfers growing up? Did you idolize any players or model your game after any specific player?
A. I really liked Zach Johnson and Stacy Lewis. Both have great stories.
I’ve never really modeled my game after any one, I’ve just tried to use my abilities and get around the course the best way I can that day. I’ve worked with swing instructors and we’ve worked on target areas throughout the years. But, we’ve never really tried to model anything after one specific pro. We look at individual aspects of pros swings (rotation, lag, etc) to try and incorporate into my swing, but we’ve not stripped anything down and tried to mirror. I’ve always had a fast/ powerful swing- even when I was young. I loved seeing the ball go far but I also loved to chip around the greens.
Q: You played golf in college. Where did you attend school? Did you or your team win any notable tournaments during your time there?
A: I played golf at Arkansas Tech University. My coach took a chance on me. I wasn’t the highest ranked junior in the state or someone with super low scores. She saw great potential in me and added me to her roster. Our team was ranked nationally within the top 20 and top 10 all throughout my time at Tech. Our team won the Great American Conference championship each year I was there (with the exception of 2020, they cancelled the remainder of our season- my senior year). Our team won many tournaments, had several All-Americans and All-American scholars come out of our program (I’m thankful to have been one of them- All-American scholar), won the regional championship my freshman year, and made National Championship appearances each year I was there. I was so lucky to have been able to be a part of such a great program that helped me grow as an athlete and a person.
Q: What were practice days vs. tournament days like?
A: Because we had two seasons, non-championship and championship season, we had a brief period of off-season. In-season, our days were typically strictly scheduled. 6am workouts, classes from 8am-1:00pm and then scheduled practice until we had completed all of our drills, qualifiers, or if it was time for our community service. Some days we focused on short game- we spent time on the putting green or did specific drills on the course. Other days we spent our practices on the range working on specific yardages that we struggled with during tournament play or typical yardages we might have coming into a green during the next tournament. A few days a week, we participated in different community service activities- Arkansas Tech was ranked #1 and #2 in the country for community service hours during my time there.
A tournament day was a little different. We’d pack up the van and drive (or fly if the drive was longer than 11 hours) to the tournament location on a Sunday for our practice round (sometimes on Saturdays if the location was far). We’d play our practice round and then practice on the range and putting green for a couple of hours after our practice round. The next morning (Monday), we’d all get up around 5:45-6:00am, head to breakfast, load up the van, and head out to the course to warm up before our round. After our rounds, we’d input stats and practice for an hour or two on the areas we struggled with during our round that day. We’d head back to the hotel to work on homework, shower, grab dinner, work on more homework, and then head to bed and start the whole process over the next day. Typically, I made sure to have all of my homework done before we travelled. I didn’t like having something due the day we got back or something I had in the back of my mind while we were playing.
Q: Do you have any memorable moments from your collegiate career that stick out to you?
A: I can’t narrow down one favorite moment. I loved playing college golf- there was a learning curve at the beginning (adjusting from high school to college) but I am so glad that I got to play for such a high caliber team. I loved competing, practicing, and sharing my time with my teammates who all shared the same passion. I got to travel to so many different places and meet so many different people that I would never had met. If I had to give one moment, I’d say when I shot my first career round under-par in Goodyear, Arizona. I loved the course and everything in my game fell into place.
Q: What advice do you have for youth golfers?
A: My advice to young golfers is to remember that improvement in this game doesn’t always happen overnight- that it’s a process-trust it and yourself. Also, if you’re able, start competing in tournaments in your area to gain some competition experience.
The beautiful thing about golf is that if you don’t play the best one day, you can always go out the next day and improve.
Q: How old were you and how did you become interested in art? What mediums do you work with? Did you study art in college?
A: I have always loved drawing and painting. I don’t even remember the exact age I started. When I am painting, I typically work with acrylic on canvas. I also like to use pencil and paper. I actually had been accepted into Savannah College of Art and Design and had thought about attending but ended up choosing ATU. I switched between a few different majors in college. I was in the Graphic Design program for a while. But, I ended up getting degrees in Sociology and Criminal Justice with a minor in Art. I am now completing my Master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration to one day work in higher education. I would like to work as a liaison between a university’s athletic department and academic department so that I can assist student-athletes.
Q: Were there any artists who left an impression your artistic style?
A: I don’t have a specific artist that I can think of that left an impression. I’ve taken a few art history classes and I really like Impressionism artwork- Claude Monet, Renoir
Q: Walk me through your creative process. When you sit down to create a piece of art, how do you approach things? What are the steps you go through? What inspires you to create art?
A: I have always had a more realistic style of artwork. I like portraying subjects as they are. When I was a graphic design major, I got to explore different styles and ways to portray subjects. I still tend to prefer realism, but from time to time I do enjoy creating a piece of artwork that combines different subjects in a way that promotes thought. For example, my piece titled “Ticker” (heart clock) is meant to combine something inorganic with something organic. However, the message or the meaning behind the drawing is: Our heart is often called our ticker- it’s what keeps us alive. We never know how much longer our ticker will continue. What’s great about those pieces of art, is that my meaning and reasoning behind creating the piece may be completely different than the way someone may view it. A lot of the time, I find a picture online or a picture that I took and draw or paint my interpretation. Other times, I have an idea in my head about a specific feeling or emotion and determine a way to convey that through colors and portrayed subject. Other paintings that I have completed have been inspired by other famous works and then I add my twist to them. I find myself drawing or painting to relieve stress or if I have a creative thought that I am excited about drawing.
Q: What advice do you have for young artists?
A: Advice that I have for young artists would be- Create the art you want to create and create it the way you want to create it. What’s great about art is that there are so many different mediums, so many different ways to convey meaning, emotion, or thought. Your style and your way of creating is unique to you- never be afraid of it. Try new ways to create and experiment with mediums- you never know, you may find a new favorite.
Q: Tell me about your new line of golf prints. What is the name of the line? How did you come up with the idea for the line? What holes have you designed so far?
A: The name of the new line of print is called Famous Holes in Golf– for now. The name may change as new holes get added. It kind of came about because of my passion for art and golf. In the past, I have painted No. 12 at Augusta National, but, on the day I created the first print, I wanted to make an illustration of Augusta National on my ipad. Then, I thought it would be fun to add other famous holes. I posted the photos of my drawings on Twitter and over 62,000 people had seen them. I started receiving messages about people wanting prints or people that were sending in course suggestions.
Q: How do you create each piece? Do you start with a rough sketch before turning it into a full design? Is it all done digitally? How long does it take to create each piece?
A: While looking at a reference photo that is pulled up on my computer, I start off with a rough sketch of the course in ProCreate on my iPad. Then I add in blocks of color, then add details (grass, shading, water, etc), and then finish off with black lines to add contrast. It takes anywhere from 2-5 hours to finish drawing a print
Q: You’re selling your prints. How much does each print cost, what size prints do you offer, and where can you buy them at?
A: Right now, I have 2 sizes available on my Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/shop/MaKsMarvelousDesigns?ref=profile_header 5×7 prints are $15 and 8×10 prints are $25, with more sizes available in the future. Currently, I have Augusta Nation No. 12, St. Andrews Road Hole, TPC Sawgrass No. 17, Bethpage Black No. 18, and Pebble Beach No. 7. Royal Troon No. 8, The Postage Stamp Hole, will be added in the next few days.
Q: Can you give us a preview of what holes you will be creating in the future? If someone has an idea for a hole design, how can they get in touch with you?
A: In the future I plan on working on No. 16 at the River Course at Kingsmill Resort, No. 8 at the Olympic Club, No. 16 at Cypress Point, the Church Pews at Oakmont, No. 16 TPC Scottsdale, Calamity Corner- No. 16 at Royal Portrush, No. 4 at Old Head Golf Links, No. 18 Pine Valley Golf Club, No. 18 at Harbour Town Golf Links, No. 16 at National Golf Links of America, No. 7 at Crans-sur-Sierre, No. 3 at Mauna Kea Beach, and the remainder of Amen Corner at Augusta National. I am also taking custom course requests- interested individuals can email them to me at email@example.com
You can also keep up with MaKenzie on Instagram by searching for Maks_Marvelous_Designs or by scanning the QR Code below.