With the ball soaring out of sight on a challenging par three hole at Yale’s Fall Intercollegiate, an eruption of cheers alerts Julie Shin that she hit a hole-in-one.
Despite it being just two weeks into her freshman year and first NCAA showdown, Shin placed fourth out of 81 golfers at Yale’s Sept. 10-11 tournament involving Harvard, Boston University, James Madison, and several other colleges. By the end of three rounds, Shin led Penn’s team, finishing three under par in her final round and one shot under par overall.
The Daily Pennsylvanian sat down with Shin to learn more about her passion for golf, her amateur career, experience with the team, and what she is looking forward to at Penn.
1. Could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Julie Shin, and I am a freshman on the women’s golf team. I am from Brambleton, Va., and studying at the College of Arts and Sciences.
2. What inspired you to start playing golf?
My dad frequently brought me out to the range once I became old enough to play sports. It was fun playing alongside him, as he has been passionate about golf since a young age. I grew up really liking the sport, and that’s what has kept me going.
3. Who has motivated you to excel throughout your athletic journey?
The junior golf friends I’ve made along my journey. Getting to practice with people as passionate as I am about golf led me to push myself to get to the next level. Most of my golf friends are now playing competitively at other Division I colleges.
4. Which of your golf achievements are you most proud of?
My summer season after junior year, where I won my first national tournament: the American Junior Golf Association’s tournament in Georgia. After competing in so many AJGA tournaments, winning helped me achieve a new mentality.
5. What led you to choose Penn’s golf team?
The ability to study in a strong academic atmosphere, pursue my interest in statistics, and the strong relationships I’ve formed with Coach Anderson and players on the team I’ve spoken to.
6. Could you describe the work you put into training at Penn?
On a typical day, I finish all my classes by lunchtime to ensure I can make practice at 1:45 p.m. We typically hit balls followed by a short-game session or go out on the course to play a full round. Once it’s the early evening, I return to my dorm to complete homework.
7. Besides golf, what are some things you enjoy partaking in?
I love Korean pop music, dancing, and figure skating! I always try to make time for my other hobbies, and even went skating at the Class of 1923 Arena today.
8. What is a life lesson you’ve learned from playing golf?
Once you set your mind to something, don’t be afraid to do it, and don’t hesitate. Even with the clubs I am applying to, my attitude is to just go for it because there is nothing to lose.
9. What’s one aspect of your skill set that has been instrumental to your success?
My mental game is extremely important. When I’m not playing well, I try to improve my mindset by reminding myself that there are many more holes where I can make it up. I feel like this skill has helped me become a more emotionally intelligent person outside of golf as well.
10. What’s a unique aspect of your personality you’d like to share with the Penn community?
I’m a pretty introverted person. Coming into Penn, it was eye-opening how outgoing and friendly everyone is. I am looking forward to going out of my comfort zone and meeting new people.
11. How would you describe your dynamic with other players and coaches?
Even though I just joined the team, our dynamic is extremely strong. I feel like I’ve known other players for so long, as we’ve gotten really close and are supportive of each other.
12. What’s a fun memory you have with the team outside of practicing/playing?
When the seniors convinced another freshman and I that we had to go to New York at 10 p.m. on SEPTA to get doughnuts, Korean corn dogs, and Earl Grey. They did such a good job convincing us it was part of an initiation, and we were determined to do it.
13. Did you end up buying the doughnuts and other items?
No, right before we left they told us it was all a joke.
14. How did you celebrate after finishing your first tournament at Yale?
Since my family lives close to Connecticut, I was fortunate to have my parents there supporting me. They were so excited after my hole-in-one and started calling my aunt and grandparents. It was so nice having my brother, teammates, and competitors congratulating me.
15. What are you looking forward to right now?
More tournaments with my friends on the team, meeting new people at Penn, and studying subjects that interest me. I am really excited for what is to come in freshman year.