The Colors of My Life: Orange and Blue

PGA Jr. League alumna Kiera Kemppainen shares her PGA Jr. League story

This article first appeared on and was reposted with permission from the author.

Kiera Kemppainen is a PGA Jr. League alumna and current volunteer coach who shared her experience in an article for her high school's student-run news website. We love hearing from our alumni! If you'd like to share your PGA Jr. League story, please click here.

A photo of one of my old teammates—who I coach with now—and I in our blue jerseys.

I first learned of orange and blue in a fit of tears.

My mom told me that I would be joining my local PGA Jr. League team; It was the very last thing that I wanted for my summer. I didn’t want to golf. I didn’t want to be on a team. I didn’t want to meet new people.

I did it anyway.

I showed up to the very first practice, unsure of what was to come. I looked around the parking lot: there were only boys there. I was terrified to be the only girl. Luckily, I wasn’t. Another girl named Izzy showed up. We immediately became friends, unknowingly creating the start of a group of girls on the team that would expand through the years. She’s the only reason I wanted to continue the team for another year.

When orange and blue first came into my life, they were not either color.

I met orange and blue as red, then purple, and then, finally, orange and blue. Though my jersey changed colors, my love for the team didn’t. After the initial fear and tears, I became enamored with playing and competing.

After five years, I thought my life in orange and blue would be over. I was about to turn 14 and would no longer be able to be a part of my team. I decided that I wanted to come back the next summer and volunteer to help out.

I didn’t know that my life in orange and blue would expand.

I have been an assistant coach of my orange and blue for three summers. I loved the team before, but my appreciation only grew from being on the coaching side.

When I was on the team, I was in my own world. By that point, there were two teams, and I only interacted with one. One summer later, when I began coaching, there were four teams. I was instantly flung into a world with new names and faces along with the ones I had previously played with.

I loved it; I still do.

I love seeing a flood of children in orange and blue racing out to their starting holes. I love watching them interact within a sport they can keep for the rest of their lives with budding friendships that will last for years to come. There is no greater feeling than seeing the joy on their faces when they hit a great shot, overflowing with pride.

I love watching orange and blue jerseys race around after the matches, faces covered in snow cones and popcorn. They run and jump through the giant bouncy slide that gets blown up specifically for them.

Orange and blue are the colors of my summer. They have flowed through my veins for eight years, growing in greatness with every coming of June. I look forward to the early morning practices and the hours-long matches every Sunday afternoon.

My warmest season revolves around the team I once knew and the team it has now become.