Mary Jo Bellner Swartzberg
What do softball, kickball, football, volleyball, track, shot put, basketball, and, more importantly, golf have in common? The answer: Molly Fullerton, LPGA Apprentice of the SaddleBrooke One Pro Shop. Molly’s life story, to date, falls under the rubric of “You Won’t Believe This.”
As always, discussing a person’s history for an article means asking the person to open up about his or her life, and you will find Molly’s life most interesting and compelling.
Born and raised in Seattle, Molly was one of 10 children, including back-to-back sets of twins! After a stint in the Merchant Marines, Molly’s father bought a taxi cab, which became his career. Her mother, previously a stay-at-home mother, started working for the cab company and eventually became a superintendent for the company.
Molly went to a community college for two years, then transferred to the University of Washington where she majored in math and chemistry. Afterwards, she worked in the insurance industry for several years but knew that she could not see herself in that business for a career.
At age 28, she started working for the Seattle Police Department, eventually beginning in the specialty unit of the department, which led her to becoming a detective. While Molly never really felt any pressure for being a female in a department with 1,400 officers (about 10% of the force were women), working in the ranks was more about being known. So, to get some visibility and to become known, Molly joined the Seattle Police Department Golf League (at age 35). And it worked! Not only did she gain the visibility she wanted, her love of golf was realized at that time.
She eventually became a narcotics detective and then a background detective, but retired to take care of her father who was dying from lung cancer.
Molly has worked at various jobs around golf courses, including as a beverage cart worker, counter staff, outside guest services, and food and beverage. But after retiring to Tucson 10 years ago, Molly decided that she wanted to work again. She walked into the office of former head pro with SaddleBrooke One, Bernie Eaton, and asked loads of questions. That very day, he offered Molly a job.
Molly was taught by PGA Pro Tom Sovay of Sovay Golf who brought her handicap down from 30 to 9 in a couple of years. Her best round was 75, having achieved this score both in Washington and in SaddleBrooke.
When Jane Chanik assumed the role of SaddleBrooke One Head Golf Professional, Jane asked Molly if she would be interested in pursuing a career as an LPGA Pro. While Molly never intended to make a second career out of golf, she said yes, and is currently on her journey to achieving this goal. She has passed Level I, as well as the online portion of Level II. She began the Level II video portion on March 6, after which, she will achieve Class B, LPGA Level III, the final qualifying section, will be administered in the fall of this year.
Molly’s husband Randy retired as a firefighter/paramedic with the Seattle Fire Department. They are “parents” to an 18-month-old Pudelpointer named Walter.
Molly’s other pursuits include exercise, scrapbook and card making, knitting/crocheting, and reading.