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Devon Cassazza’s Path to Becoming World Number 1

Malcolm Gladwell once said, “Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness.” The meaning behind this is simple. To be considered elite and truly experienced in whatever craft you focus on, you must practice it for ten thousand hours. For many people, that craft takes them their whole life to master; it is the one thing that consumes the entirety of their days and nights. For Devon Cassazza, that craft was a softball for the first twenty-two years of her life. When her playing career came to an end her focus was shifted to the sport of Golf, where she has risen up the ranks to become the world Number 1 ranked Female World Long Driver.


In the sport of World Long Drive, the divisions are filled with former collegiate and professional softball and baseball players. The swings, while very different, have a component of weight distribution that is helpful for generating power. Especially in World Long Drive, where the competitors want as much power on their swings as possible. While Devon had played golf her whole life, softball was her priority, and she spent countless hours practicing to perfect her craft. Even with the differences in the ball, Devon’s success in the sport of softball carried over to her newfound love of golf.


Growing up in Reno Nevada Devon made the bold decision to attend school across the country to pursue her passion of Softball at the University of Connecticut. The University of Connecticut has one of the top softball programs on the East Coast, compiling a 34-15 record during Devon’s senior year. “I didn’t really have a preference on location, except for wanting to get out of my hometown and explore a little bit, and the first time I went out to UConn everything just clicked.” Devon Recalled. “I was an engineering major all through college, and there were schools that would not let me do that, and UConn gave me the opportunity to do engineering and play sports,” Which has proven to stay important in her life as Devon has been a Sales Engineer for almost two years outside of competition.


While many admire Devon as one of the top competitors this season, what people do not see, is all the time Devon has spent at golf simulators and on ranges to get to this point. As a Division 1 collegiate athlete, Devon had to separate her golf swing from her softball swing, often focusing on the ladder more, which slowed the evolution of her golf game. “I grew up playing golf as well and kind of had a golf swing but tried hard to keep my golf swing separate from my softball swing, but once I graduated, I didn’t have to focus on my softball swing as much and was able to focus more on the golf swing and found pieces that translated a lot better than I thought they would.” Many players on the WLD tour have a strong history of playing Softball and baseball in college and even professionally, in which the characteristics of each swing translate to both.


While Devon’s softball career may be in the rear-view mirror, she is still able to use the lessons and skills she learned in her Long Drive career today. Her experience playing softball at an elite level laid the groundwork for her professional career in golf. Especially a sport where the best in the world separates themselves from the pack by centimeters and inches. Her mental toughness, work ethic, and desire to win all blossomed at a young age on the Softball field, and all have contributed to making Devon one of my most feared competitors on tour.





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