Julie Golob’s enthusiasm and frequent bursts of laughter during conversation are two of the endearing qualities that make her an appealing person to be around. Combine that with her impeccable qualifications as a competitive shooter, and you can see why she’s a sought-after ambassador to the shooting sports.
Golob’s initial exposure to shooting was conventional enough; her dad would take her to the range. But what set the two apart from the usual “parent-teaches-child” tradition was her father’s interest in action-shooting sports.
“My dad was really big into a bunch of different shooting sports, but mostly USPSA/IPSC kind of stuff, but he did a little bit of silhouette and precision pistol and stuff like that,” recalls Golob of her early days on the range with her dad.
That early exposure to the “sport” side of the shooting sports took hold, and the two were a frequent duo seen on the range.
Inspiration From Champions
“We became this father-daughter range officer team. We worked a lot of the local matches, and we traveled around,” says Golob, adding that, though he started taking her to the range when she was “very small,” it wasn’t until she was 14 when she actually started shooting with him.
While other young girls of the 1980s may have aspired to be like prominent women of the time such as First Lady Nancy Reagan or Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Golob admired heroes such as professional shooters Rob Leatham and Jerry Miculek. “I got to see them in action at all of the premier championships, and I knew I wanted to be like them,” she tells me.
And she has become like them. Golob’s list of accomplishments includes everything from U.S. Army Athlete of the Year for her shooting ability in the Army’s elite Marksmanship Unit to more than 130 shooting championship titles that span the world.
The Hi-Power That Started It All
“My first gun that we called mine was a little Browning Hi-Power,” she recalls of the pistol that launched her in the direction of her career. “It was the perfect size for my hands and was easy to manipulate, and that is what I ended up shooting for a couple of years.”
As significant as that one gun may have been to her future, Golob hates being asked what her favorite gun is, because it depends on what she’s doing.
“It’s like asking a girl what her favorite pair of shoes are — it depends on the outfit, you know?” she quips with a laugh. While she may not have a favorite gun, Golob says a pistol-caliber carbine is definitely on her bucket list. “That is another kind of fun shooting sport, especially in USPSA,” she says. “It looks like it is a whole lot of fun — it’s a short AR-style rifle shooting 9mm. I mean, what’s not to love?”
Though she cut her teeth on Practical Pistol Shooting and has had the opportunity to try everything from Olympic pistol to sporting clays, Golob says she eventually wants to try Precision Rifle Shooting. “I think that it’s the element of speed and accuracy at the same time,” she says of the sport. “It draws from my passion for Practical Pistol Shooting, but it’s now a rifle, and just the idea of hitting a really long-range target and getting those automatic feedbacks, whether auditory or visual, I think it would be a ton of fun.”
When not shooting competitively, Golob says she likes being surrounded by her family, working with her hands and doing renovation projects around the house.
“We have a little farm, so I’m a ‘chicken momma,’” she laughs. “I travel so much for shooting and the shooting sports and my sponsors that I just really like downtime and relaxing and being outside with the girls [she has two daughters] and enjoying the simpler things, because everything can just be so chaotic during the competition season.”
Want to Shoot? Julie Can Help
Golob’s gregariousness is contagious and probably why she thinks if she wasn’t a full-time competitive shooter, she would be in business, specifically marketing, where her passion for communication and connecting with people would really shine. Along those lines, she’s authored a book on how to get started in the shooting sports, “Shoot: Your Guide to Shooting and Competition,” because, she says, “It’s easy to get overwhelmed.”
To the aspiring shooter, Golob says you need to take in protein and fat to make sure you have enough endurance to last a day of competing, and she suggests natural sugar from fruit or something like that if you “need a little pick-me-up.” She calls sleep and hydration “probably the most significant components” of competing, but says those are hard to control if you’re nervous going into a competition. Her best advice, though, is to simply get involved.
“I’m proof that someone who started out as a junior competitor from Upstate New York can thrive in the shooting sports.”
7 Things You Didn’t Know About Julie Golob
1. Julie raises chickens and once had a rooster she named Genghis Khan.
2. She’s handy with power tools and likes to build things.
3. Though she is very outgoing, Golob calls herself a “borderline introvert.”
4. She plays the French horn and was in the New York All-State program.
5. Before a match, Golob used to buy M&Ms and eat only the orange ones.
6. Golob likes her quiet time.
7. Golob has carried a gun on her hip on six continents and says if she can find a way to get to Antarctica, she will have every one checked off.
About the Author
Warren Berg is a 25-year veteran of the shooting, hunting and outdoors industry. He has penned hundreds of articles under many names for various publications including American Rifleman and Field & Stream. He has produced award-winning television programs on personal defense and has hunted extensively in North America, Europe and Africa.