SPRINGFIELD, MA- Smith & Wesson Corp. today announced that Julie Golob, Professional Shooter and Captain of Team Smith & Wesson, has won the Ladies Title at the 2012 United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) Single Stack Nationals. With the recent victory, Golob has earned 13 USPSA national titles, placing her among the top competitors of today's shooting sports.
Widely known for her competitive prowess and contributions to the shooting sports, Golob has become one of the most respected shooters in the game. When she's not dedicating time to her family, the newly credited author and social media guru can be found working on exotic recipes, updating her interactive blog, providing shooters with helpful hints, or preparing for her next match.
Despite her hectic travel schedule and numerous commitments, Golob was able to spend a few minutes with Blue Heron and recount her recent title at the 2012 Single Stack Nationals.
BHC: Julie, first off, congratulations on winning the Ladies Title and your 13th USPSA National Title. That is quite an impressive accomplishment. Did you ever think that you would reach 13 national titles, or accomplish a feat of this magnitude so early in your career?
JG: Thank you very much! It's hard to even imagine this is number thirteen. My focus is always on the training leading up to an event and my personal match performance, more so than thinking about the number of wins. Still, it is a great feeling to have been able to bring home another national title.
BHC: During this year's event weather played a significant part in the match with frequent rain showers and high temperatures impacting many of the shooters. While these are elements out of your control, what did you change to stay focused and contend with these variables?
JG: Challenging weather conditions can happen at any event. One thing I try to do is make sure I have prepared as much as possible to be as comfortable as I can in different conditions. When it's raining I find that it helps to focus a little harder on the front sight. If it's hot and humid, then keeping hydrated and eating well helps to keep my energy up on a long day at the range. Of course, it helped that the staff at PASA Park worked tirelessly to provide water and make every stage the same challenge for all shooters through rain or shine. Many thanks to them!
BHC: While you compete with a variety of firearms throughout the year, I think it is safe to say that most people associate your pistol accomplishments with the M&P9 from Smith & Wesson. But due to the nature of this match, you opted to compete with a Smith & Wesson Pro Series 1911 in 9mm. Can you tell us a little more about why you went with this model and what features you enjoy most?
JG: USPSA's Single Stack Division features the model 1911 and fortunately for me I have several Smith & Wesson firearms to choose from! The division also has capacity rules for major caliber and minor caliber. For competitors who choose to shoot major with a .40 S&W or .45 ACP, their magazines are limited to eight rounds. In minor, competitors are allowed ten rounds but they also have to make sure their hits land in the A-zone, otherwise they score fewer points. I have competed in both major and minor with Smith & Wesson 1911's. Since I compete with the M&P Pro Series frequently, the Pro Series 9mm 1911 makes a lot of sense. I can use the same load with the M&P and the 1911. Between the combination of accuracy, heft, and the soft shooting 9mm, this Pro Series is so much fun to shoot.
BHC: I'm sure one of your goals on every stage of fire is to be penalty free, but that's not an easy accomplishment. During this year's Single Stack Nationals you shot the entire match clean. What sort of impact does that have on your confidence during such a highly competitive match?
JG: Shooting clean stage after stage is definitely a confidence booster in any match, but it is something you can't take for granted. It can be tough keeping up that kind of momentum. There are so many tricky targets at the Single Stack Nationals and many of them have hard cover and penalty, no-shoot targets obscuring the target. That makes shots even more challenging. Respecting each target's level of difficulty becomes critical and requires concentration. I was very happy to have come away penalty free.
BHC: Speaking of competiveness, this match at PASA Park featured 310 competitors, including some of the sport's top names. With so many shooters in the field, what extra steps did you take to prepare for what would surely be a highly contested match?
JG: Being USPSA's only dedicated handgun nationals, the Single Stack Nationals always attract major talent and some of the biggest names in the sport. Every year you can expect to see a significant number of grandmaster and master class shooters as well as talented lady shooters and this year's match included six women's national champions! Because the level of competition gets better every year, this year I planned two warm up events: a classifier match and the USPSA Area 1 Championships in St. George, UT. Both were very helpful in preparing me for peak performance at the nationals.
BHC: In just a few days you will be on the road again, this time competing in the 2012 NRA Bianchi Cup where you have enjoyed past success. Could you please give a little insight into what it's like to compete at Bianchi and the equipment that you will be using at this year's match?
JG: It's hard to believe Bianchi is right around the corner! Arguably one of the most challenging competitions in action shooting sports, Bianchi is really a unique event. Where USPSA has a run-and-gun feel, Bianchi is precision based and there is a perfect score to shoot for. I am competing in the open division with the Smith & Wesson Pro Series 9mm 1911. The guns in open division are highly customized with shrouds, mover controls, compensators and red dot optics unique to NRA Action Shooting. With the X-ring at just four inches, both the gun and the shooter have to be capable of accurate shots all the way out to 50 yards. I love the challenge this match presents and look forward to competing.
BHC: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us Julie. It's always a pleasure. By the way, any chance you will have another from Field to Fork creation to share any time soon? My mouth is still watering from your last recipe of Venison Greek Sliders. My waistline on the other hand is still trying to recover.
JG: Well, that brings a smile to my face! I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe and yes, I do have another Field to Fork creation coming up soon. The next dish was inspired by Mexican food and so Mexico is the next stop on my venison world tour (laughs). Thanks so much for the opportunity to chat about the match!
About Smith & Wesson
Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC) is a U.S.-based leader in firearm manufacturing and design, delivering a broad portfolio of quality firearms, related products and training to the global military, law enforcement, and consumer markets. The company's brands include Smith & Wesson, M&P and Thompson/Center Arms. Smith & Wesson facilities are located in Massachusetts and Maine. For more information on Smith & Wesson, call (800) 331-0852 or log on t www.smith-wesson.com.