Golf, like the measles, should be caught young. That’s what British author P.G. Wodehouse reckoned, anyway. As for Glasgow-based Sabrina Wong? Well, she certainly caught the bug as a young ‘un.
“I was two and watched my dad at the driving range and that made me fall in love with it,” she reflected.
Funny enough, my toddler son once watched me thrashing away at the range but, instead of being inspired, he’s been haunted by harrowing visions of golfing ineptitude ever since.
Wong, meanwhile, is far more competent at this fascinating, flummoxing game. And she’s still only 12 years old. Last week, Wong was in Thailand and was the youngest competitor playing in the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship.
Born in Hong Kong, Wong and her family made the decision to move to Scotland a year or so ago, primarily, to help her all-round development as a golfer. Now, that’s what you call dedication.
“I didn’t know much about the country,” she admitted. “I knew some of the traditional things, though, like the people wore kilts and had really heavy accents. I knew about haggis too.”
In addition to the attire, the accents and the offal, Wong has embraced the Scottish weather too. Well, almost.
“It’s just different from Hong Kong because I have to wear more layers and it’s harder to swing,” noted Wong, who was in the Hong Kong Golf Association junior squad by the age of seven.
“And in the winter, it’s dark by 3 p.m. But we thought that Scotland would have more (golf) opportunities for me, with different weather and courses in different parts of the country.
“Moving here has given me more time to play golf too. The education (system) over here gives me a bit more free time. There is less homework, less tests so I get more time to practice. In school, you get one week to do homework and it usually only takes me 15 minutes.”
That might change if her teacher is reading this? Wong’s golfing education in the cradle of the game has already earned her top marks.
Last season, she won the girls’ 11-age division of the US Kids Golf European Championship on Scottish soil by 15 shots and the girls’ under-12 division of the Champion of Champions event in Northern Ireland by 12 strokes. In the Scottish Girls’ Open,…