As resident teen-girl-gone-rogue Colby Chandler on the long-running soap opera All My Children, Ambyr Childers burst onto daytime TV in a blaze of grand-theft-auto glory, stumbled upon a dead body, dabbled in extortion, wrecked a yacht, and wrought general havoc on Pine Valley, Pennsylvania. Childers’s own coming-of-age, however, wasn’t nearly as dramatic. Raised in California, the 26-year-old actress grew up in an athletic, outdoorsy family, with two sisters—one older, one younger. “Oldest children get whatever they want, the youngest children will always be the babies, and the middle children get fucked as usual,” she says with a laugh. “We middle kids are survivors.” She does, however, admit that an admiration for her older sibling’s golf skills led her to pick up the sport, which eventually became one of her primary passions. “I’ve been playing since I was around nine years old. Every single day, I went straight from school to the golf course or the driving range, and I was there until dark,” she says. The one thing that surpassed Childers’s love for the game was her fascination with film. “I grew up Mormon, so we weren’t allowed to watch anything rated PG-13 or R. But once I got older, I finally saw more movies and I was just like, ‘This is so magical.’” So when the folks at All My Children offered her what would be her first major gig just as she was finishing up high school, she turned down a college golf scholarship to pursue her acting dream. “To this day, I remember my parents saying, ‘You’re 18 now—what’s your decision?’ And I was like, ‘What? You’re going to let me make a decision on my own? This is amazing! Sayonara, I’m going to New York!’” It seems that choice has turned out favorably for Childers: Since those early days she’s appeared in a number of films, including Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, and now she returns for the second season of Showtime’s gritty drama series Ray Donovan, which is currently on air. Soon enough, you’ll also see her in the sci-fi flick Vice alongside Bruce Willis. But don’t worry: She’s still got it when she hits the green. Here, she offers you her finest golf pointers.

1. When you tee off, make sure you hit the ball past where the women tee off, or else you have to drop your pants.
Really—look it up. It’s a thing.

2. If you’re going to practice anything, work on your chipping and putting.
It’ll keep your score down. If you have a horrible first and second shot, but you have a good short game, it could save
your entire round.

3. It never hurts to have a few beers before you play a round of golf.
I had my best round at La Quinta after a couple drinks with my sisters.

4. Don’t piss off the snack people driving around the course.
Trust me—they’ll never come by again. (Instead, I suggest tipping a little extra.)

5. Never forget to cover a divot or rake the sand in front of the Marshal.
Otherwise, your ass is grass.