Swinging with Keisha

For sophomore Keisha Lugito, playing golf is not an obligation or simply just a hobby — it’s her way of life. Lugito practices up to six hours a day, rain or shine and sacrificed other sports to focus on golf.

Lugito first started playing golf at Pacific Palms when she was in fifth grade because her dad encouraged her to. She then reinforced her efforts during her sixth grade summer and has since played competitive golf.

“It’s funny because I really despised golf in the beginning when I first started because I was always getting yelled at from my dad for not doing the correct things and I couldn’t play as well as some others,” Lugito said. “But after I kept at it with the support of my family, I noticed I improved. Golf is a sport you have to be really patient with mental and physically, and that part of golf made me love golf even more.”

Though Lugito was not initially fond of the sport, her attitude changed when she saw Michelle Wie, a professional golfer, win third place at a golf tournament.

“I think when I started developing my love for golf was when I saw [her] at a golf tournament. She really inspired me to become a great golf player,” Lugito said. “Not only has she made me want to play golf, she also has given me the desire to major in business or law. It sort of came with the package of seeing her as a golfer. [For her] to be able to go to Stanford as a golfer and major in business is awesome.”

This year, Lugito’s passion and hard work allowed her to win first place in the Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) golf tournament hosted by the Southern California Professional Golfer’s Association of America junior tour (SCPGA) at the Rio Hondo golf course.

“In the beginning of the tournament I was pretty nervous because I wasn’t playing that well but then after a while I just relaxed and talked with the competitors in my group, not really caring whether I won or not, but doing the best I can,” Lugito said. “Right before I hit my first shot of the day I was thinking ‘This is it, do your best Keisha and make it count.’”

Though Lugito experimented with swimming and track and field, she sticks with golf because she has a better chance at a scholarship with her current sport. Lugito hopes to continue playing golf in the future at Stanford, University of California (UC) Los Angeles or UC Berkeley.

“I didn’t want all the effort, time and energy I put in golf to go to waste. So I quit all other sports, and began to pursue golf,” Lugito said. “I used to think it was a pointless sport, but I’ve learned so much from it. The concept of the golf game is so dynamic and strategical compared to other sports. I’m always optimistic and I focus on my game rather than my opponent’s. I don’t try to envy what they can do compared to what I can.”

By Olivia Chiang, Staff writer

There are no comments

Add yours