The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

The Student News Site of Harvard-Westlake School

The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle

Girls’ golf player competes in national age group tournament


Ellie Koo ’24 stood on a practice green next to her dad at Tregnan golf course in Griffith park when she was seven years old and swung her putter for the first time. Ten years later, Koo walked across the grass at Bel-Air golf course where she was competing in the 2023 USGA Women’s Amateur.

 Koo is the first Wolverine to make it to this level of competition, golfing alongside top college and international athletes. She was one of six qualifiers from the Victoria Club in Riverside and one of 156 amateur women’s golfers worldwide to qualify. Koo said that qualifying was a moment she’ll never forget.

“I was really excited because this is my first USGA event and I’d never competed in anything like this before,” Koo said. “At the same time I was a little stressed at first because I knew I needed to work hard in training because I really wanted to play well.”

Koo played the first two days of the tournament and made the cut, advancing to Wednesday’s match. She said that playing against women of all ages was daunting at first, but she adapted over the course of the tournament.

“A majority of the field was college girls,” Koo said. “It was a little scary because all of the girls have been playing golf their whole life and college golf is at a different level, so that was a little bit nerve wracking. I tried to not think about that too much and just focus on the game.”

Koo has been playing golf for much of her life, but didn’t start to play competitively until much more recently. She said that being able to compete at this level so early in her competitive golf career is very exciting. 

“I didn’t start playing junior tournaments until I was 13, so I haven’t been playing the competitive amateur events consistently for very long,” Koo said. “I was really excited about this because I feel like I’ve come really far in that sense.”

Koo recently announced her commitment to Yale and says she is looking forward to the rest of her high school career and her time in the NCAA.

“I think our team can make it all the way to CIF and beyond that because we have a really good group of people,” Koo said. “I can’t wait to hopefully go to the NCAA Championships and play at the highest level of golf you can get to.”


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Eden Conner, Assistant Opinion Editor

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