Sometimes it’s the little things that can make all the difference. Don’t believe us? Just ask HaYoung Lee, a senior at Connections Academy. Lee played for Coronado High School and helped the team to the 5A state golf title. It was a golf season to remember for Lee, but it was a season that almost didn’t happen.–by Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider
“I wasn’t planning on playing high school golf this year,” said Lee, who will be playing college golf for UC Irvine in 2024. “I was planning on just working on my game with my swing coach and trying to get better.”
Family and friends changed her mind.
“A lot of people talked me into playing,” she said. “And now, looking back, I’m grateful they talked me into it because it was a great season. I had a lot of fun playing. I still had some mistakes and I’m not 100 percent happy with my game but I’m glad everyone convinced me to play. It was a great season.”
She said besides working with a new swing coach, James Oh, there was another reason she almost didn’t play: “I wasn’t that confident,” she said. “I wasn’t sure what to expect.”
In the end, it all worked out perfectly.
“I worked on the mental part of my game a lot,” she said. “I tried to believe in myself and in the end I guess my confidence grew.”
With her senior season over and a state team championship, it’s now time to look forward.
“I’m really going to have to change my mindset,” she said. “You have to think you’re going to be the best player out there. Coach (Margo Dionsio) said to be ready … it’s going to be a whole different experience.”
To that end, she’s spending plenty of time on the range working on her game.
“I’m still pulling shots a little so I need to work on that,” she said. “My short game has gotten really better after working with my new coach and my swing is definitely getting better.”
She also attributes the improvements to her mindset.
“In college, you’re playing longer courses,” she said. “And there are a lot of talented players on every team. You have to put your game in a good place to help the team. I want to stand up and be that good player.”
Off the course, she’s torn between focusing on business or psychology.
“It’s just going to be a new challenge,” she said. “Time management is going to be priority No. 1 for me. Right now, I’m really focused on golf but in college I’m going to have to focus on classes, practices and a lot of other things. I’m really going to have to balance everything.”
Lee has played in many SNJGA tournaments and also on SNJGA teams and enjoyed her time with the organization and thanks everyone for what they do.