Young golfer dreams of playing among top flight

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Golfer Lily Griffin has a scholarship to go to Texas A&M University in the United States.

David Unwin/Stuff

Golfer Lily Griffin has a scholarship to go to Texas A&M University in the United States.

Palmerston North teen Lily Griffin is off to the United States for the next step in her golf career.

Griffin, 18, has been a fixture in the Manawatū-Whanganui senior women’s representative team for the past four years and this week she is heading to Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Griffin, who finished at Palmerston North Girls’ High School last year, was planning to have a gap year this year.

She had contacted a few colleges, but Texas A&M made her an offer – a full four-year scholarship studying kinesiology – too good to turn down.

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Lily Griffin hopes to one day play on the LPGA.
David Unwin/Stuff

Lily Griffin hopes to one day play on the LPGA.

It had been a rush to get everything organised, but she flew out on Monday.

 

“I’m really excited to head over there,” she said. “It’s a little bit scary with the current situation of Covid-19, but I feel if I’m sensible and I’m careful it should be fine.

“I’m definitely excited to move somewhere else to take my golf further.”

She said her goal was to become a professional golfer and play on the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour when she finished university. There are a few big tournaments she would like to play too.

Griffin is a Manawatū Golf Club member and is coached by Alan Hyatt. She trains every day, goes to the gym and plays two or three rounds a week

“I’ve been playing for eight years, but only become serious probably four years ago when I started to really commit to golf and wanted to make a career of it.

“I did play quite a few sports when I was at school, but this is the sport I loved the most.

“I found it can take you places and obviously I found I got to play lots of different tournaments and got to meet lots of different people.”

Griffin hasn’t played many tournaments recently, with Covid-19 hitting at the end of summer, but she played for Manawatū-Whanganui against Wellington at the start of the month and finished third at the Feilding Open last month.

Earlier this year she won the Maraenui Open at Napier and finished second at the New Zealand speed golf championships, which now has her ranked eighth in the world for speed golf.

Her parents are going with her to Texas for the first few weeks to help her settle in. She will spend the first two weeks in quarantine, but will keep practising.

 

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