From California Dreamin’ to Fried Chicken Eatin’

Michelle Bello has what people call it “golf in her genes” and you could say she is destined to play.

When Bello was six years old her dad got her into golf and liked it a lot. But, as she got older her interest changed and she began playing softball.

That took a toll on her body and her mind. She didn’t like the pains in her shoulders and her body after each practice and game. As high school quickly approached it was time to decide what sport Bello should invest her time in.

“I played [softball] year around summer to fall, then to city league, then high school and it was too much. I honestly think I just got burned out,” remembers Bello. “Golf was just something new and refreshing.”

Bello’s father isn’t the only one in the family who is interested in golf. It is nearly her whole family.

“My uncle plays golf, my grandparents play golf and both my great grandparents play so it’s kind of in our genes.”

Bello, who is still fairly new to North Carolina, transferred to WCU 2011 from a junior college in Sacramento.

“I met Michelle Bello in December 2010 while attending our annual National Golf Coaches Association convention in Las Vegas,” remembers Mallory Hetzel, Western Carolina University’s Women’s Golf coach. “She was currently attending a junior college in Sacramento, CA, and we sent Michelle a National Letter of Intent to play for us in April 2011.”

Bello is from Northern California and said the weather here in Cullowhee was about the same, but that’s the only similarity.

“The pace of life is slower here, which isn’t a bad thing, its just in California your speeding every where and people don’t care about common courtesy and people in the south do,” said Bello. “The food is different too, there’s a lot of fried food and deep fried places here.”

This summer Bello interned with the Sacramento River Cats, a minor league baseball team, inspiring her to pursue a career in Public Relations with a sports team.

“The River Cats are a triple A team for the Oakland A’s. I did a lot of marketing and selling for them. It was a great experience and it showed me that I would be really good at what they do.”

And her coach seems to think the same thing.

“Michelle has a very bright future ahead of her. She understands in order to be successful you have to be driven and know how to interact well with others. With Michelle’s drive and personality there is no question she will land her dream job one day soon,” said Hetzel.

Bello’s collegiate golf career will end when she graduates this May but she doesn’t plan on settling down with just any job.

“I just want to have an open mind to getting a job. I would love to travel around the east coast for about 5 years after I graduate to really get a grip on what I want from there. I am in no rush to settle down in one place right now.”